More people around the world are seeking experiences that deliver something deeper.

Is this traveler segment right for you?

If you’re in this industry, you’re likely in on the secret: traveling is powerful. Visiting a new place has this miraculous ability to support us in connecting meaningfully with the world around us. And travelers are starting to wake up to this power! In fact, a growing segment of travelers is visiting destinations with greater aspirations in mind. They are seeking out experiences that foster a sense of growth for themselves and the people around them.

This segment of purpose-driven travelers is not limited to one demographic. Millennials and Gen Zs might be leading the charge, but traveling with purpose spans all ages. Skift and the Adventure Travel Trade Association have both found that personal growth, achievement, and learning something new are the top travel motivations of luxury and adventure travelers. In a Skift survey of 1,350 travelers, 54% ranked the importance of transformative travel as 7 out of 10 or higher, while 52% said they place increasing value on travel that has impact.

If your experience stems from a place of passion, you are well on your way to becoming a purpose-driven experience that appeals to this kind of traveler. Think back to why you started your experience in the first place. What did you see a need for? Purpose is not just something you value; it’s something that drives you. It usually stems from a deep-seated belief about the world. If you really care about it, you’re really great at it, and the world really needs (and values) it, then you have a recipe for purpose.

Source: Samantha Hardcastle

It might be tempting to look at what other purpose-driven tours and experiences are doing and try to jump on that bandwagon, but purpose is unique to you. Just because a tour in your destination has made sustainability their core purpose doesn’t mean it’s the purpose you should center your experience around. Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t value sustainability and integrate sustainability into your experience.

Purpose typically coincides with some aspect of wellbeing, connection, or our environment. If people are traveling to enrich their lives and the lives of others, how does your experience guide them on this journey? What are they seeing, learning, and doing that could result in a positive impact? How is your experience sparking new passions and paths?

Thinking about your experience through the lens of purpose forces you to get a bit more creative. When you stop asking only, “how can I entertain travelers?” and start asking, “how can I create an experience that not only entertains but also has a positive impact?” you’ll uncover new and exciting ways to engage guests. It can even lead to greater conversion levels and ROI. Why is this?

When you stop asking only, “how can I entertain travelers?” and start asking, “how can I create an experience that not only entertains but also has a positive impact?” you’ll uncover new and exciting ways to engage guests.

Because purpose is the ultimate differentiator and positioning tool. When you move beyond what is expected and deliver on guests’ deeper desires, you deliver more value. And when you deliver more value, you can speak to that value with an enticing marketing campaign. Your marketing promise becomes more compelling because it is more than a promise of just a few hours of fun. So, what promise of purpose can you make with your business?

In a world where businesses often lack purpose, infusing your experience with meaning will make you stand out to people seeking something more profound. It is a powerful means for attracting high-value travelers eager to experience your culture in more fulfilling and enriching ways. Use your purpose to enhance your experience descriptions and web copy, speak to it in your social media posts, share your efforts with your favorite media and publications for more press exposure… the opportunities to spread your purpose-driven story are endless!

About the Author: Samantha Hardcastle

Samantha Hardcastle, founder of The Storied Experience, supports hosts and operators in creating immersive experiences and purpose-driven brands. As a creative storyteller dedicated to wellbeing, she has developed a unique framework for creating enriching, high-value moments for guests. Her strong pulse on the desires of today’s traveler enables Samantha to help hosts reimagine their experience and bring their passion-fueled story to life.

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