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If the world is indeed liberalising, with borders becoming fluid, cultures melding, and markets intertwining, then this will undoubtedly bring many benefits for tourists. It creates a smaller, safer, more open and more comprehensible world. But seen from the perspective of Cultural Purists, these drivers are taking from the world some of its diversity, authenticity and mystery.
Cultural Purists use their travel as an opportunity to immerse themselves in an unfamiliar culture, looking to break themselves entirely from their home lives and engage sincerely with a different way of living. In many cases, this will mean diverting from the ‘beaten-track’. They will be hostile to pre-planning, preferring instead to follow their instincts, and may avoid well-known research sources.
Cultural Purists will be educated, demanding and self-assured, and though they pose challenges to travel brands in this respect, their open-mindedness and receptiveness to propositions out of the ordinary also present terrific opportunities to airlines, rail companies, hotels and other travel providers.
As age-based expectations for how individuals should behave disintegrate in many cultures, so the experimentalism that has characterised, for many, youth travel behaviours spreads throughout wider citizen populations. The ‘Gap Year’ is no longer just for students and Cultural Purism could reach wider audiences than it once has.
You could say that globalisation is producing a homogenisation of world cultures, often along Western lines, a trend which is sometimes described as ‘McDonaldization’. If this is indeed the case, the effects on the number of Cultural Purists we can expect is not clear. Will a diminishing supply of ‘Culture’ as a commodity decrease or increase the demand for it?
Download our Traveller Tribes 2030 reports here to learn more about Cultural Purists and the other tribes we’ve identified.