What is Transformative Travel?

Transformative: causing a major change to someone, especially in a way that makes them better – Cambridge English Dictionary.

A Skift Survey in 2017 quantified a trend that has been growing in tourists for some time – transformational travel. That desire for travel to have life-changing meaning, not just a vacation. The fact is, across humanity more people are having their basic, physical needs met, so they are on the hunt for the things that can start to fulfill their spiritual and emotional needs as well.

The Skift Survey identified 5 aspects of the travel experience that made it transformational:

  1. I gained a new perspective
  2. I learned something new
  3. I had a reflective moment
  4. I solved a challenge
  5. I discovered my passion

According to Skift, what are the external factors that made it transformational?

  1. People on the trip
  2. Spontaneous, unexpected adventure
  3. Food, arts, culture, entertainment
  4. Spiritual or wellness activity

Now combine that with a signature experience, and you get a unique tranformational experience!

Define Your Signature Experience

So what kinds of experiences are we talking about?

Tourism Australia broadly defined Australian pillars of tourism experience categories back in 2007, and they form the basis of the kinds of transformational experiences tourists are looking for today:

  • Nature and wildlife
  • Heritage
  • Local culture
  • Aboriginal culture
  • Beach lifestyle
  • Food and beverage
  • Cities

Here’s an example. Tourism Australia has formulated the Signature Experiences of Australia, forming a base of travel destinations that deliver unique and authentic experiences which tap into a discerning traveller’s passion points:

  • Great walks
  • Great fishing
  • Wildlife journeys
  • Cultural experiences – museums, galleries, memorials and icons
  • Discover Aboriginal culture
  • Luxury lodges – amazing and iconically Australian places to stay
  • Ultimate winery experiences

Why are they signature experiences? For Tourism Australia, it’s based on the ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ global consumer marketing campaign – the ‘brand’ reputation of Australia – which highlights the iconic attractions and experiences Australian tourism has to offer because of the tourism pillars above.

How do you create a signature experience that is nothing like anyone else? It’s all about your brand. We believe that your brand uniqueness will ultimately shape a transformative tourism experience offering that is right for you, unique, natural to implement and tells your story.

Not sure where to go from here? Try our Profiler Quiz to start to understand your unique brand personality, or give us a call and let’s just start with a coffee.



For most tourism businesses, working on your buildings and grounds is a big deal. There is a lot of money and time at stake and can be difficult to know where to start. So let’s just start with a coffee.