Travel

Heritage travel: another key trend for 2022

Heritage travel: another key trend for 2022

Heritage travel is a type of travel that may become increasingly popular as we come out of the worst of the pandemic and countries around the world begin to ease pandemic-related entry restrictions.

This type of trip is defined as a trip that brings a person closer to their roots. Whether traveling to a country where a traveler’s grandparents or even parents were born and raised or traveling to a country a traveler knows little about but knows where it is from come their ancestors, heritage travel is a deeply emotional experience that combines cultural immersion with a traveler’s own heritage.

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Americans find heritage travel particularly important, as many are descendants of immigrants from around the world. A new survey by Price line surveyed more than 1,300 adults across the country in late January and found that advisors and travelers should familiarize themselves with this growing trend.

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One in three Americans (34%) think heritage travel is a meaningful way to travel. It is more likely to be a popular trend for younger generations under 55. Travelers aged 18-34 reported the greatest desire for heritage travel at 38%.

About one in five Americans also think heritage travel is an important to-do list goal, although only 22% of Americans have actually taken a heritage trip. Again, the two younger generations (those under 55) are the most likely to have taken a heritage trip (both at 26%). Only 15% of people aged 55 and over said they had taken one.

Of those who took a heritage trip, 49% said they felt a deeper connection to their past and roots, while 25% said they learned more about themselves during their trip. Twenty-six percent of travelers say their heritage trips are among the best trips they’ve ever taken.

Americans who want to take a heritage trip are the most likely to go abroad to do so, with 68% agreeing, likely because so many Americans can trace their heritage to other countries. But another surprisingly high response was national heritage travel, up 60%, showing that Americans also want to connect with more modern heritage.

Americans want destinations that have some importance for their family’s personal history (33%) and that allow them to meet a genealogist or do research on site to find out more (29%). Cultural experiences and sightseeing would be the overall goal for most American heritage travelers (45%), while 43% would spend the majority of their trip doing research, reconnecting with extended family and more.

Some destinations are already beginning to present themselves as heritage tourist destinations. Germany, for example, knows that about 40 million Americans consider themselves of German descent and this has created a microsite just for people to learn about the country’s heritage journey, including genealogy resources and more.

Travel advisors should be aware that more travelers may turn to them for advice on heritage travel this year and what to expect from heritage travelers.