Group travel priorities are changing. When we think about group travel, we normally think about a group traveling somewhere to share an experience together. The focus normally is experiencing a vacation, a location or an event together. This means that we link the experience always to a location: We are travelling as a group to location A because we want to experience the amazing beach or our group travel goes to location B because we want to see the famous building A.
In our digital world where we communicate with friends from all over the world continuously we are unconsciously reducing the need of in-person meetings with those friends. Imagine the world before internet access on your phone, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. How did you maintain a relationship with somebody who was not living in the same location? Think about friends from a year abroad during university. Think about people you met while you where on vacation. Think about childhood friends from your place of birth which you left behind when you moved to study at a university or took up a new job. Group travel priorities are changing!
I left the place where I was born before university and I started to live in different places around the world. Before the access to online communication services it was clear that everybody from my class in high school was meeting every 25th of December in our birth town. Why the 25th of December? The assumption was that everyone came back “home” for Christmas to see their parents so the likelihood of having everybody around the 25th of December was just very high.
Nowadays, this meeting is not happening anymore. Why? With technology you feel closer to your friends who live far away but in actual facts, the intensity/deepness of your relationship tends to be much weaker. 15 years ago, I had very limited contacts throughout the year to my high school friends (maybe 2-3 phone calls a year). So the excitement of seeing everyone on the 25th of December was great because everyone had to share so much about things that happened over the last 12 months. Today, things are different, our group travel priorities have changed. You can read everything on Facebook (at least the positive stuff). I can follow several hundred lives on Facebook but to be honest, I only now a very small fraction of those people and I actually care for even less of this fraction. But for those, I really care and since my best friends are scattered around the planet, I continuously look at trying to meet with them in person at least once a year.
Having this example in mind and the magnitude of our geographical spread of close relations, the meaning of group travel changed for me. It changed from going with a friend/a group of friends to visit a specific location to spending quality time with a close friend/a group of friends in any location (which fulfills some basic requirements).
What counts for you when you plan a group travel?