Tourism done well is the authentic sharing of people, places, and culture in a sustainable and regenerative framework. It creates deep connections between people, elevates our common connections as human beings, and awakens our appreciation of different place and people. Frankly, that is the opposite of war. Simply put, the world needs more tourism done well.

In this industry, we use the term “experiential tourism development” to describe the process that enables people to experience a country, city, or particular place by actively and meaningfully engaging with its history, people, culture, food, and environment.

Today, in a digitally-disrupted world, experiential development takes place on a continuum from the in-place work done on the ground in a destination by organizations like Tourism Cafe in Canada, the Veneto Collaboratory in the U.S., to the immersive virtual experience development of platforms like Fortnite and the impending metaverse. In between, linking the two, is the augmented reality work of companies like EXAR Studios.

With me today on the podcast are:

  • Joe Veneto, chief experience officer at Veneto Collaboratory
  • Ben Switzer, chief growth officer at EXAR Studios in London, Canada
  • Andreas Weissenborn, vice president of research and advocacy at Destinations International

All three are well-suited to discuss the place that experiential tourism development will have in destinations in the coming years and share invaluable insights. As Veneto said in the interview, deep, enriching experiences are the currency of twenty-first century travel, and the demand is being driven by consumers.