Report: 75% of luxury travellers want to holiday like a local

Published: 8 December 2019 - 8 p.m.
By: Josh Corder

75% of luxury travellers to major cities want to experience their destination like a well-informed local.

Travellers to Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney and Mexico City voted on their experiences during holidays. According to the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts report, a further 77% of those surveyed said they felt obliged to only see the most popular tourist sites.

Social media analysis revealed that the Eiffel Tower is the most posted tourist location, accounting for 10% of all posts worldwide. London’s Buckingham Palace accounts for 21% of all London posts and Central Park in New York makes up 20%.

Locals from each of the seven cities were also surveyed, with 59% agreeing that tourists miss out on what their city has to offer.

With these findings in mind, InterContinental has launched ‘ICons’, an online platform showing more ‘local’ and ‘authentic’ experiences in each city.

The list of ‘ICons’ in Dubai include: the sound of water at the Dubai fountains; drinking Karak Chai on Jumeirah Beach Road; the echo of the evening call to prayer at Jumeirah Mosque; and the smell of burning bukhoor.

Online visitors can vote for which of these nominations they most want to experience.

IHG’s vice president, global marketing for the luxury portfolio, Ginger Taggart said: “With our latest campaign, InterContinental ICons, we’ve set out to discover and celebrate authentic places and moments that might be overlooked by visitors but are truly part of what makes a city special. Whether it’s the feel of salt air while riding New York’s Hudson River ferry, the melodious bells of the clock tower on the Bund in Shanghai, or the feel of cobblestones underfoot on old Parisian streets, these ICons might include under-the-radar experiences, or well-known tourist hotspots viewed in new and unexpected ways. We want to reignite a sense of fascination for these much-visited cities and encourage discussion around what makes them truly iconic.”

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