• New study from travel media startup Culture Trip uncovers new ‘cultural mindsets’ based on people’s cultural curiosity and social contexts
  • 60 percent of study respondents say their outlook on life is shaped by influences from different cultures
  • People seek out experiences over possessions to shape their identity, with 43 percent of study respondents saving their money to travel more often
  • Cultural curiosity demands both slow and fast culture – the resulting mash-up leads to new ‘Culture Economy’

London, UK, 2 May, 2019 – 11am GMT – A study launched today by travel, media and entertainment startup Culture Trip unveils four cultural mindsets based around people’s cultural curiosity, as shaped by their cultural, social and personal contexts. The Cultural Mindset study explores people’s global outlooks, openness to new experiences and motivations for travel. The findings are based on a survey of 10,500 respondents and in-depth interviews with 150 consumers in the UK and US.

Culture Trip founder and CEO Dr. Kris Naudts comments: “The current socio and geo-political environment is pushing people to engage with culture, and with the meaning of culture, in new and deeper ways. This study came about from an ambition to better understand the world of modern experiences and travel from our unique perspective of cultural exploration. Culture Trip is an exchange of culture, creativity and places, both digitally and out in the world. This study establishes just how fundamental culture is to the way we tell stories about ourselves and our journeys, wherever we are or go.”

Welcome to the New Culture Economy

Today we see two global trends colliding – Globalisation and the Experience Economy.  The resulting “New Culture Economy” is influencing people’s interactions and definitions of cultural exploration. More people than ever before are living or working in countries other than the ones they were born in – over half of study respondents (53%) have friends living overseas.  Seventy eight percent of people have friends or family of different nationalities and ethnicities, resulting in increased exposure to global cultures. At the same time, the changing economy has resulted in a shift away from materialism, with millennials and Gen Z-ers shaping their identities through collecting experiences over possessions. The collision of these two trends has ignited a new travel zeitgeist with cultural curiosity at its heart.

Presenting Cultural Mindsets

Alongside the macro trends of globalisation and the experience economy, we see people’s social and personal contexts influencing their cultural open-mindedness. How individuals engage with their immediate surroundings – people, communities and shared culture codes – is further influenced by the expansion of social media. People’s social networks not only expose them to digital influencers but also keep them connected to friends or family living in another part of the world, providing another, more personal ‘way in’ to other cultures. In fact, nearly two thirds of study respondents (60%) say that their outlook on life is shaped by different cultures.

The unique combination of these cultural, social and personal drivers to curiosity have shaped the creation of four cultural mindsets:

Uncovering a truth of our times

Travel is fundamental to most people’s lives – in fact, nearly half of all respondents (43%) make compromises on their daily expenses so they can save money to travel more. And yet, while cultural mindsets differ, they are united in one common truth – not one wants to be a tourist. Yet, in today’s world of influencers, traditional and social media, true discovery is harder than ever.

Genuine exploration therefore is about getting under the skin of a place, getting to know its people, both its slow and fast culture, in a truly authentic way.

The reimagining of culture

And so we have a reimagining of what we mean by culture – yes, it is art and history and traditions, but it is also the latest food trends, street markets, festivals and fast cultural experiences.

It means that in today’s world there is a nuanced interplay between a person’s own identity and context, as well as their motivations and needs, driving the way they move through and interact with the world, both in travel and in everyday life.

Travel industry, take note

The results of this study offer insights into how the travel industry can attract a new generation of travellers. In order to win over Millennial and Gen Z audiences, the sector must strike the perfect blend of experiences that are:

  • Culturally rich, immersive and tangible
  • New and undiscovered
  • Authentic, but also shareable
  • Offer contrast to the everyday
  • Within grasp

“We mustn’t forget that tourism is the coming together of people and places,” said Natalie Malevsky, VP product marketing, Culture Trip who led the study.  “By focusing on people, their aspirations, attitudes and backgrounds, the Cultural Mindset study gives shape to the new culture economy, where the mashup of slow and fast culture is what now defines modern travel. The industry has a huge opportunity ahead – by appealing to our desire to explore our own cultural identity, every interaction with a diverse and wondrous world is a chance to create meaningful memories.”

The Cultural Mindset white paper – ‘Beyond Borders: The Evolution of Culture’ – is available for download.


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