Global consumer research by Explain the Market highlights a new and growing trend for what has been termed ‘considerate travel’.

The report studied the views of more than 30,000 people from the UK, North America, Europe and Scandinavia. Key findings suggest that tourists globally, but particularly from the UK and US, feel they have adapted their leisure travel habits over the last five years in a quest to achieve more meaningful experiences.

Some 80% of respondents claimed that they would now be more likely to choose an activity which required some form of learning as opposed to five years ago and 55% expressed the desire to experience a new skill when travelling such as hiking or meditation.

This new ‘considerate traveller’ also showed an increased awareness of how they are perceived as a tourist taking steps to ensure they leave a lasting, positive impression on local people and the environment. Meanwhile, 70% state that they now make a more conscious effort to attempt the language when in a foreign country, despite the risk of embarrassment.

Guy Shone, the company's CEO, said: “We are seeing a global shift in behaviour, which reflects a growing consciousness of how you appear as a tourist. This is particularly strong for holidaymakers in the US and UK who have a historic reputation for avoiding attempts at the language when abroad, be that due to lack of knowledge or more likely embarrassment surrounding pronunciation. It’s an interesting finding that this group has an increased awareness of self, which now regards ignoring language as embarrassing behavior.

“We are also seeing a shift in what tourists’ hope to get out of travelling experiences with 60% stating they are more interested in immersing themselves in the local culture whilst travelling now than in the past and emphasis being placed on meaningful learning activities.”

The company attributes the growth in this movement as a result of a shift in the frequency of travel, but also thanks to countries who place emphasis on a learning experience through their marketing. For example, Inspired By Iceland who recently encouraged visitors to sign their ‘Icelandic Pledge’, a how-to guide for being a responsible tourist and through their ‘A-Ö of Iceland’ campaign, to learn some Icelandic, one of least spoken languages in the world.

Shone said: "This is an interesting trend because it shows how wide the gap is between generations now and how much smaller the world is getting culturally. Generation Z are widely described as viewing the world on a much more local basis so we can expect this movement to continue to grow. However, people of all ages seem to be looking for more meaningful and immersive experiences than ever before. Experiences, that in particular help us learn something new as well as making friends and creating wonderful new memories."

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