People are increasingly using travel to seek out more authentic experiences and discover their roots, rather than your traditional rest and relaxation holiday. An international study from Airbnb has found that nearly all respondents in India, 69% from France and over half of Americans had traveled for this very reason. These types of tourists want to experience places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of their past.

Airbnb have recently teamed up with genetic testing company 23andMe in a quest to link travel and ancestry. After taking the home-test kit, a person can discover more about their family history, origins or even their risk of genetic disease. So what Airbnb have created is a special portal to provide ideas for accommodation and experiences based on your test results. Their page is aimed at helping you understand your newly discovered roots. So, for example, if you have recently discovered distant relatives in the Patagonia region of Chile, Airbnb could offer accommodation options and suggest activities to do in the area. Whether it’s retracing your great grandfather’s footsteps at the battle of Gettysburg or exploring Latin America and your Colombian roots, a heritage tour could be a good option for every kind of traveler. And you don’t necessarily need to travel long distances to experience your roots — you can connect to your ancestry in your own country, state, and often hometown. Exploring personal DNA is fast becoming a popular reason to travel and it’s so simple and readily available that anyone can do it.

A beneficial way to create a new stream of revenue for your tourism business could be by introducing a customisable ancestry tour. Highlight that your tours can cater to those looking for more meaningful travel experiences, while pointing out the importance of discovering your ancestry. If you’re looking to reach more international clients, for example, a historic ruins tour in Ireland may attract more Americans with Irish ancestry. Some research into your region could tell you a lot about the types of visitors that could benefit from a heritage tour. Think about who you’d like to target; what your area has to offer in terms of its history; and how you could enhance your guests’ experience.

Incorporating this offering into your tour website could have some great returns, as it’s a growing reason to travel. With the industry estimated at over $1billion and data showing heritage visitors often repeat visits to their chosen destination, this new travel trend shouldn’t be overlooked when drafting tour ideas and looking to expand your website.

The partnership of Airbnb and 23andMe is a prime example of how the industry is developing to attract those interested in new types of travel experiences. People are broadening their horizons and seeking more authentic trips rather than your traditional rest and relaxation holidays. Many tour websites and travel providers are turning their attention to heritage travel and you should too. Adding a section on ancestry experiences to your tour page will appeal to and attract those customers looking to discover their heritage. Connecting with your roots can be an eye-opening and enriching experience and you should be including that. If you’re a current Tourism Tiger client you can get in touch about adding a new customisable ancestry tour to your website. Get in touch with us today!


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