“The best things in life aren’t things.”
Experiential travel connects the traveller with the essence of a place and its people. It engages visitors in a series of memorable travel adventures, revealed over time, that are inherently personal, engage the senses, and make connections on an emotional, physical, spiritual or intellectual level.
The focus is on the traveller’s desires, rather than a tourism product. This is a concept that was first described in “The Experience Economy- Work is Theatre, and Every Business is a Stage” by Pine and Gilmore in 1999.
In research conducted by the Tourism Café (https://www.tourismcafe.org/), 2017 Travel Trends included:
- An increasing desire on travellers for personalization
- rise of the conscious traveller who seeks out positive impacts of their travel experience,
- and a desire for personal transformation through travel.
The concept is not new, and experiential tourism is becoming mainstay in today’s tourism economy. Experiential tourism is a priority for Destination Canada, which provides intelligence, tools and resources that help the Canadian tourism industry reach international markets for Canada. They promote Canadian Signature Experiences, in collaboration with tourism operators across the country. Officially curated, the Canadian Signature Experiences are once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.
Here are a few examples of some amazing experiential tourism happening all around Canada:
- Dining on the Ocean Floor (Nova Scotia)
- Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm (Alberta)
- Experience PEI (Prince Edward Island)
- Canadian Signature Experiences Collection -Destination Canada (Canada-wide)
- AirBNB Experiences (World-wide)
- Giro Okanagan (British Columbia)
- Yours Outdoors (Ontario)
 Pine, B.J., Gilmore, J.H. 1999. The Experience Economy; Work is Theatre and Every Business in a Stage. Harvard Business Press.