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The ten reasons people travel: which is yours?

Categories: Travel Styles

Research shows that travellers’ goals and expectations are changing. Are you in step with the times? Are we in step with the times? Does it matter?

In 12 years since a previous study, the themes of being in the natural environment, of learning and of meaningful experiences have replaced concepts of risk, adrenaline rushes, and extreme sports, as the most popular reasons to travel.

That’s according to a major study commissioned by The Adventure Travel Trade Association and performed by the University of Michigan.

Overall, based on the words respondents used to describe what they were looking far, they found ten major experiences adventure travellers are looking for. West Adventures delivers on all counts.

The ten major reasons, then, in reverse order:

10: Unique experience: This referred to getting the unexpected, or experiencing something that most others won’t, that leads to a feeling of accomplishment, or “specialness.”

9. Physical health: Key words people used to describe what they were looking for were “exercise,” “fitness,” and “strength.”

8. Meaningful stories: Some travellers are looking for something they can reminisce about, recount later, show photos about: an experience that perhaps grows as it is re-lived.

7. Connection: Travellers who fit best into this category were looking to meet new people, get a group “bonding” experience, learn about other people.

6. Fun and thrills: OK, the “risk“ factor, the adrenaline rush and excitement factor, is still important; it just comes in at number six, not at the top of the list.

5. Mental health: The whole idea of getting away to renew oneself is demonstrated in this motivation to travel. Travellers are looking for escape, or for a place of peace and relaxation.

4. Nature and discovery: Perhaps the increased environmental consciousness has motivated people to appreciate the natural environment that still remains. These people are looking for “nature,” and “beautiful scenery.”

3. Learning: Travel as a source of education seems to be increasing. Respondents to the survey used words like “new skills, knowledge, insight, and enriching experiences,” to describe their objectives.

2. Expanded worldview: These travellers are looking for opportunities to broaden their perspectives, expand their horizons or gain greater cultural understanding.

But the number 1 reason:

1. Transformation: People want travel because they want to be changed by the . They’re looking for “a better me” coming out of the travel experience. In some ways, this may be composition of several of the above reasons, but the characteristic response were that they were looking for personal growth and challenge, achievement, gratitude and “mindfulness.”

At West Adventures, we didn’t have this list when we developed our packages. But we had a sense of what we thought people were looking for and what we look for too. That’s why we so strongly emphasize nature, scenery, learning experiences (your guides are more than tour leaders) and interacting with nature (hiking, canoeing, trail riding). We emphasize group experiences, facilitated by the joint effort of camping together or sharing a houseboat, and cultural experiences like interacting with history and First Nations.

And we certainly retain the opportunities for the adrenaline rush, whether white-water rafting, zip-lining, downhill mountain-biking or the via ferrata.

There are experiences for everyone. Scroll through the various packages on the Adventure Tours tab above and see how you can realise your travel dreams through one of the adventures we’ve designed, just for you.

Oh, and by the way, we’d sure like to hear what your top motivation is for travelling. You can give us your answer right <here>.

Seward Exit Glacier