Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis “We used to travel to see the sights: Indian palaces; Italian cathedrals; big game in Africa. For some places, it’s still sufficiently moving to simply stand near them, feel the power of their proximity… But for much of the world, just looking isn’t enough. It’s not enough to sever ties with our own daily lives; we need to connect with others. We seek the real — to feel that we’ve been truly transported to a definite somewhere rather than the vague, dizzying nowhere of shuffling through airports.”

These sentiments, care of Adam Sachs, contributing editor at travelandleisure.com, are a telling description of how the travel industry is shifting (or needing to shift) to accommodate the changing desires of travelers.

The power of unique travel experiences

Travel has the power to inspire, transform, and in at least one case, keep a person alive. A few years back Edward Readicker-Henderson shared his story in National Geographic Traveler. After being diagnosed terminally ill and advised to plan his funeral, he instead continued to plan explorations around the globe. He said that his story was “the story about how every place I travel to comes down to how I’m going to live. Forget the bucket list. It’s the travel that, very literally, keeps me alive.” After hiking into the crater of Haleakala Volcano in Maui (the second largest of the Hawaiian islands), he described the silence as being “so quiet there, you can’t tell if you’re hearing your heartbeat or the sound of ocean waves moving up through all those miles of Earth.”

Photo courtesy of Vivian S.F.

What do travelers want

People like Readicker-Henderson illustrate the power of travel to make us feel. Enriching travel experiences remind us of the glory of the earth and our ability to connect with it. It’s this sense of connection that travelers crave most. It seems contradictory — the desire to fling ourselves to the other side of the world only to feel entirely dislocated and lost from all that we know, and in that confusion to find some peace. But therein lies the magic: the best travel experiences take us into foreign lands in order to connect with strangers and places beyond our expectations, and it’s in those unique travel experiences that we make meaning of the world and our small space in it. Like Henry Miller says, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

The changing face of the industry

Adam Sachs grapples with the increasingly popular desire of travelers to feel a sense of connection in a destination, particularly through meeting knowledgeable locals. He explains that “the social side of travel is big business now... So travel agents have enlisted the expertise of residents to show you around. Unfiltered access, connections, insight — these are the new value-added.”

As a travel agent how do you make unique and transformative travel experiences happen?

With all this in mind how do you go about linking your clients to the right locals? In Sach’s opinion it can’t just be any local, “the kind of local we want to meet is someone with a take on a place, a story to tell, a passion or particular expertise.” He explains that more and more speciality travel services are catering to this demand and travelers who choose to “go our own way and hope for the best might be surprised at how sophisticated and frankly envy-inducing the kinds of matchups offered by specialty tour operators and high-end personal concierge services can be.”

Local Italian tour operators Charme & Adventure offer just that. They provide access to travelers wanting to learn the art and passion of Italian cuisine at the helm of a top chef, or to catch an after-hours glimpse into the Vatican’s private collection of artworks and treasures on a tour alongside a professional art historian whispering secrets of the collection along the way, or instead of just shopping in the fashion capital, accompanying a fashion stylist to guide you to the city’s hidden boutiques, hubs of haute couture and the most luxurious fashion showrooms: from Armani to Cavalli.

Charme & Adventure invite travelers into a world of unique travel experiences, memorable characters, and unmapped regions. As the great Herman Melville said, “It’s not down in any map; true places never are.”  

To find out more about unique travel experiences and luxury tours of Italy, contact Charme & Adventure. As a local family business with decades of experience in authentic exploration, they are passionate about sharing unique travel experiences and luxury tours of Italy.

by Luca on Aug 5, 2015