Cultural Tourism Insights from Our Cultural Tourism Whitepaper

by Brady Rothschild, Account Coordinator and Mars Hill University student

heritage tourism

Here we break down five important takeaways from our Cultural Tourism whitepaper to help benefit your destination. If you're interested in receiving this white paper, sign up for our newsletter from our Facebook page at or on our homepage.

  1. What is cultural tourism?

The World Tourism Organization defines “cultural tourism” as trips with the main or concomitant goal of visiting sites and events with cultural and historical value. Cultural Tourism is about learning and understanding how things that happened in the past can affect the world today and how these are significant to a group of people. It creates meaning for people about places and things they have are now getting the chance to visit. People want the destination to come to life.

  1. The market is growing.

Cultural tourism is becoming the new tourism marketing buzzword - travelers expect more from destinations than they used to. Travelers want to be immersed in the history and the nature of the destination. They want to feel every part of the place they are visiting--from oldest to newest. They want to sit at the same barstool as their favorite 19th century poet and learn how the music in that area helped to make a name for the town.

  1. Cultural travelers want to experience the feeling of the destination.

People want to feel something they have never felt before. Cultural travelers are educated people and enjoy learning about destinations in every way possible. They want to come out of the experience feeling enriched by what they have learned and that they can go back to their friends and say, “Did you know…”

  1. Cultural tourists are an older market growing younger.

In the past, the biggest of the travel market was retired people, who had worked almost their entire life to be able to afford to go from destination to destination. In the now post-modern society, Millennials are traveling more and more, because retirement is not such a priority to them, they want to go out and enjoy the moment and travel in the free time they have now, gaining experiences unlike any other. Traveling is exciting and they are the right age to engage in all the excitement. The Millennials are taking over the attention, because the potential in their market is growing. They are always on the move looking for the next big thing.

  1. People are wanting something different to the modern “Generica.”

Something driving the cultural tourism industry is the move away from the modern ideas of efficiency and convenience. People no longer want to see the same thing everywhere they go. They want to experience something that is going to “wow” them (that once in a lifetime experience) They want to go into the ‘Mom and Pop Shop’ and find that hidden treasure they can take back and show off to their friends. They want to experience a different feeling of culture and excitement. They want to know the experience they are getting at their destination is unlike any other.

These and many other reasons are why cultural tourism is so important to both travelers and destinations alike.

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