Tourist vs. Traveler

Trends / Trend
MStudioImages
1069737450
Andrea Kwamya
Jan 29, 2019

In recent years, travel advertising has been inspiring vacationers to go off the beaten path. This is by no mere accident. Today we are global citizens more than ever, commuting between countries for work and even maintaining long distance relationships. The average working professional can afford to visit someone for their birthday across the Atlantic and be back in the office the following Monday.  Additionally, the ‘bleisure’ trend that has risen in the last three years occurred as Millennials ‑ who are both socially and financially conscious ‑began extending business trips for personal exploration. Because we are traveling more often and returning to the same place regularly, people want to feel at home and connected to their destination. They want to be seen as an honorary visitor not a tourist.


Because we are traveling more often and returning to the same place regularly, people want to feel at home and connected to their destination.

In the past, ease of travel, the comfort of resorts and tour guided attractions secured the customer. Instead of relying on travel agents and local tourist attractions, contemporary travelers use tech for inspiration on how to find the hidden treasures of a country to create their own experiences. In the age of social sharing, online reviews of destinations help travelers find overlooked gems; which locales are safe; and which sights are worth paying an entrance fee for versus the hidden hilltop you can sit on and see the same view that might otherwise break the bank.  As a result, the imagery around travel is controlled less by travel companies and more by individual travelers exploring beyond the usual paths.

The reality today is that travel inspiration comes from Instagram, Trip Advisor, and Foursquare. The appeal of finding your second space in the world is hard to deny as Instagrammers such as MinorityNomad, aim to capture the true essence of each country he visits, from cuisine to street musicians, local entrepreneurs, and expat lifestyles. Others like Lebackpacker manage to capture the beauty and benefits of solitude in nature through well‑balanced landscape imagery. Both styles capture the beauty and authenticity of candid photos in a modern way.

As a result, the imagery around travel is controlled less by travel companies and more by individual travelers exploring beyond the usual paths.

This increase of solo and experiential travelers show that we want to cut free from the congestion of popularity and become true explorers. The realization is that a country is more than one major city. It’s about connecting to cultures that one otherwise might not have exposure to and feeling free from the tethers that brought you on the journey in the first place.

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