OK – so this isn’t entirely voluntourism focused, but the below is a cool report I just finished with GeckoGo and iExplore – some interesting findings in here that apply to experiential travel (of which voluntourism is a key part). Let us know what you think! Don’t forget, State of the Volunteer Travel Industry 2010 is coming up – please plan on participating again so we can continuously benchmark changes!
The Trip of a Lifetime Travel Report 2010, a travel study about the motivations and preferences behind vacations that are considered “A Trip of a Lifetime.” This report was conducted by GeckoGo and iExplore in conjunction with Lasso Communications. Given the rise of experiential travel, the goal of this survey was to obtain a snapshot of consumer attitudes globally towards taking “lifetime” trips, what destinations are considered, the importance of travel companions, the price and duration. The survey looks at the difference between expectations for what a trip of a lifetime means, compared against those who have already gone.
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Key findings of this report
- Seeing the World Wonders, safaris and rain forest expeditions are the top experiences travelers are most interested in for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. 70% of respondents said they are most interested in visiting natural and man-made wonders on a once-in-a-lifetime trip such as Machu Picchu, the Pyramids or Victoria Falls. Beyond that, 53% said they were very interested in going on safari and 42% were very interested in a rainforest expedition. Extreme sports – like sky diving – proved less popular with only 16% saying that they were very interested.
- Picking the right travel companion is THE most important consideration when planning a once in a lifetime trip. 50% of respondents felt “who I travel with” is a very important consideration, followed closely by “being able to fulfill a personal goal”, which was selected as very important by 45% of respondents. The preferred travel companion(s) are typically a partner/spouse (59% of respondents) or friends (24%), although 5% of married respondents would prefer to go on their trip by themselves.
- Travel media plays an important role in decision making–70% of travelers said that inspiration for a trip typically came from books or magazines versus 40% who were inspired from hearing stories from other people or 27% who gained inspiration from TV.
- The majority of travelers are independent, yet travel agents and tour groups play an important planning role. While 52% of respondents organized their lifetime trip independently, 18% join a tour group, and 16% use a travel agent to organize their trip. The remainder either used a combination of options or let their travelling partner handle the arrangements.
- A Once-in-lifetime trip does not have to break the bank. 28% of respondents who are planning a once- in-a- lifetime trip reported that they are willing to spend between $2,000-$3,999 (excluding airfare) and another 26% are willing to spend $4,000-$5,999.
Download the full report here
Top Trip-of-a-Lifetime Travel Destinations of 2010
- Around the world
- Australia / New Zealand
- Africa (Overland)
- South Africa