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Are We Moving from an Age of Wanting More to Wanting Less?

07 January 2016


The start of a New Year is always a good time for reflection whether it is personal or business related. The travel space has been chopping and changing immensely with regards to product, distribution and hot spots.

As I was sat on the sofa following a run on Sunday, I turned on the TV to watch Sunday Brunch (for those not from the UK, it is a show with a mix of food , entertainment and general interest news stories), and a chap called James Wallman popped up promoting his new book. At this point, I normally switch off, but listening to what he was saying, it really resonated with me.

His book “Stuffocation – Living More with Less”, explains how he believes that we are moving into an age where having lots of “Stuff” is no longer important to people and that people want to have experiences. As he discussed this further with the presenters, I became really engrossed in the subject and it immediately resonated with me. Why did it resonate? It resonated because Hospitality and Travel should be all about “Experience” and that we could be coming into an age of an even greater growth in travel across all sectors of the industry.

One analogy the author James used in particular worked for me – “When you sit with your mates in the pub, do you talk about the pair of trainers you got for Xmas 3 years ago or do you talk about that amazing meal you had on that awesome holiday years before“

Obviously, a sneaker geek may well remember but that is so true. I can remember holidays from the age of 4 or 5 but have no idea what I received as Xmas presents that year. I can tell you amazing meals I have had throughout my life, fantastic service in Hotels or even amazing moments with friends. All experiences and all memorable.

My fiancée and I, over the last year, have got rid of a lot of “stuff” from our apartment. Some went on E-Bay, some sold at a car boot sale and some to charity. The proceeds of the sale .. well it went on our summer holiday! Experiences ahead of stuff.

This, for me, is an amazing opportunity for the Travel space. If the future is “less stuff , more experiences” then I believe the niches within the travel space that offer awesome experiences will be in for an amazing journey. Youth travel in particular tick so many of these boxes that I believe that will be an area of the space that really pulls up trees.

James explained that he believed that this movement started back in 2011/2012 and will only grow. 2016 should be the year where the industry focusses a lot of effort on making sure it is delivering truly memorable experiences, no matter what budget is being spent. The brands that have been doing that over the last 5 years and are continuing to do so, will be the winners in the coming years.

To end, Happy New Year and if you do one thing this year in your business, make sure that you are delivering something memorable.

As the slogan on the “Stuffocation” website says, “Memories live longer than things.”

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