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6 travel experience trends by Trafalgar

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Gavin Tollman, the CEO of Trafalgar, was in Singapore recently to share about the 6 trends they see changing the travel experience

The 6 travellers trends are:

  • Real vs. staged travel
  • High tech vs. high touch
  • Over-tourism vs. under-tourism: Shift away from traditional destinations
  • Demand for stress-free, independent travel
  • Family travel
  • Responsible travel

According to Adobe Digital Insights, 49% of people felt like they did not have a unique real culture travel experience on a recent holiday. They essentially had a staged travel experience and not real travel.

The ‘Be My Guest’ programme is an 11-year old programme that derived from the key insight that travellers wanted real local experiences. 
“Break bread with a local and get to understand the culture and make a connection.

Gavin Tollman, CEO, Trafalgar

Travellers today get sold on cheap deals, extra add-ons, last chances and someone-selected-for-me popular choices. Prices are not the emotional outcome that travellers are looking for. The travel industry needs to align with what the customers want. 

Trafalgar involves travellers with the travel experience, across all the touch points, pre-trip and during the trip. Guests are able to share their preferences ahead of their trip with an online travel portal.  These preferences are shared with their Travel Director ensuring that guests travelling with Trafalgar can have their own individual experience.

Technology is a huge disruptor to the travel industry. Travellers spend an average of 4 months across various touch-points just searching and building a travel itinerary.  

The amount of information available to the traveller is overwheming. The Source Research shares that 89 percent of people feel travel is difficult to plan.

According to the Adobe Digital Insights report, 57 percent of travellers feel that brands should tailor their information to personal preferences or past behaviours. 

Trafalgar has since moved to harness data provided by travellers and use this to customise and personalise trip programmes based on actual preferences. 

We see everyone as an individual.

Gavin Tollman, CEO, Trafalgar

People are shifting away from traditional destinations towards new places to go. This is a reaction due to both over-tourism and under-tourism.

In some cities, locals are no longer as open to tourists, especially in places where they do not derive an economic benefit.  In over 90% of destinations though, they want tourism for the ripple-effect that visitors bring whether economically, or understanding gained through the sharing of culture.

To unlock positive tourism growth and impact, Trafalgar shares a three-step solution: dissemination, dispersal and direct action. The industry should adopt a ‘’365” approach to tourism, working to ensure continuous tourist footfall beyond the peak season. By encouraging travellers to forge new paths and delve deeper into less visited destinations, destination management can help widen one’s travel path, ensuring more opportunity for anyone to go beyond the guidebooks and away from the crowds.

Most importantly, travel companies and the industry should take direct action to impact change.

Safety and personal security continues to remain a key concern for many travellers. Trafalgar takes this responsibility very seriously by managing all the arrangements for travellers by filtering and identifying accommodation, and experiences that are safe. The itinerary builds in free time for personal exploration of destinations but the big rocks – where you stay, shared local experiences – are taken care of.

Family trips have seen a rise in popularity with many people choosing holidays that offer activities for every family member. Children are also playing an increasingly larger role in travel planning — it’s not uncommon for the whole family to discuss what makes the ideal trip.

It’s a time-deprived, guilt driven world, so parents are now seeking holidays that allow them to bond with loved ones. They want to create memories through their shared experiential adventures together.

Gavin Tollman, CEO, Trafalgar

Responsible travel has become the single, most important trend that has come up over the past 2 years.

According to, 32 percent of travellers say they lack the information required to make their travel more responsible. 

Trafalgar focuses on 3 areas related to responsible travel: 

  • They help people by supporting artisans, farmers, families and invest in micro enterprises
  • Preserving places by protecting and maintaining the diversity of wildlife, cultures and traditions
  • Caring for the planet by reducing our footprint and protecting the environment through initiatives such as going paper-free, planting trees, and not using single-use plastics

Responsible travel covers many areas. beeco shares an article with context, and tips to help those looking to travel more responsibly.

travel experience
Gavin Tollman, CEO Trafalgar taking the ‘Make Travel Better’ pledge

We can as an organisation make travel better. 

Gavin Tollman, CEO, Trafalgar



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