Traveling to Learn Art Forms (A)
Photography workshops are a popular art form that drawn people to destinations worldwide. We replaced the previous spreadsheet with a new version to accommodate our alternative method, which is thoroughly described in the research strategy section.
- The pandemic resulted in a surge in Americans flocking to the Caribbean Islands or Mexico, where they enjoy cooking lessons and weaving workshops.
- Meanwhile, Europeans are favoring other European destinations, such as London, where they are seeking photography tours and immersive workshops.
- Despite a preference for Latin American and European destinations, some countries in Asia remain popular due to their unique experiences and bucket list qualities.
After exhaustive research, we were not able to locate any pre-compiled reliable information or metrics to determine the top 20 art forms people are willing to travel to learn. We checked travel-related sources, such as Expedia Research, reputable news outlets, and industry sources, such as the Creative Tourism Network, the World Crafts Council, ABTA, the American Craft Council, among many others.
Given the lack of publicly available resources, we crafted a list of popular art forms based on several factors:
- 1. Demand: Research shows that the pandemic changed people's expectations and decision-making process. Travelers are now looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, which is likely to be a more prevalent urge among "Bourdains." We also checked popular 2021 destinations for female travelers. We used the available information regarding the most popular locations to determine where people would likely seek the art forms.
- 2. Authenticity: Research also shows that those looking for creative tourism experiences are usually seeking what they perceive as authentic, typically rustic locations with historical baggage. Travelers are also looking for inspirational, healing experiences.
- 4. Safety: Although we factored in COVID-19 implications, we were careful not to exclude locations that are likely to recover quickly or at least at the same pace as most countries/cities. Since most of the audience consists of women, we considered "safe for women" as an important label, particularly now, with more women planning to travel alone.
- 5. Potential to attract professionals: We prioritize, when possible, art forms and locations that are more likely to attract both amateurs and professionals
- 6. Beyond the Classes: We checked the locations to see if they offer other activities that the targeted audience could be interested in besides the workshops.
- 7. Tradition: We believe that how traditional an art form is at a given location is likely to impact the number of people seeking learning experiences at that destination.
- 8. Bucket List or off the beaten path location: Following recent trends, we prioritized locations that would fit one of the categories.
We cross-referenced all these factors and used travel lists from blogs dedicated to creative traveling, popular tour packages from specialized travel agencies (excluding WAVAA), Trip Advisor and Viator reviews, industry reports, social media sentiment analysis, and other sources available to determine locations that would be popular for this type of tourism. Unfortunately, it was not possible to determine the exact ranking of these art forms or affirm that there are no other art forms that would be more popular.
For each location, we included a criteria section that explains the factors the location presents plus some additional elements that were specific to certain locations. For some art forms, we included several locations as they seem to have widespread popularity. We crafted a new spreadsheet to reflect the necessities of our alternative approach.
For the Cultural Tourism portion, we followed a similar logic. The definition of cultural tourism is often mistaken by sites as off the beaten path locations. However, as defined by the World Tourism Association, cultural tourism is "A type of tourism activity in which the visitor's essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible cultural attractions/products in a tourism destination. These attractions/products relate to a set of distinctive material, intellectual, spiritual and emotional features of a society that encompasses arts and architecture, historical and cultural heritage, culinary heritage, literature, music, creative industries and the living cultures with their lifestyles, value systems, beliefs and traditions." Therefore, a cultural tourism destination can go from spending time with a native tribe in Brazil to taking in the old-world meets cosmopolitan life in London. This broad definition is often a topic of debate among academics.
We had to craft our own list again as most sources that discuss cultural tourism do not consider demand and sentiment changes caused by the pandemic. For example, while off the beaten path locations are trending, traditional destinations such as Paris and London are very in-demand since some people are ticking off Bucket lists and choosing closer destination. In contrast, others are finally ready to invest the money required to go to more exotic places. For most countries, we added two cities per country to address the broad definitions and lack of information: a traditional location and a more alternative destination. Locations were selected on cultural tourism relevancy, popular destinations for 2021 and for women, and creative tourism potential.