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Traveller desire for cultural experiences jumps by 45%, TripAdvisor reveals
UK travellers’ bookings for cultural experiences jump 32%

UK pub tour bookings jump 158%
Glasgow (+148% bookings) a rising destination for culture experiences
Belgium a hit with travellers as bookings show a colossal 1,305% jump


Travellers are showing a growing desire for cultural experiences, new TripAdvisor data reveals. According to the travel planning and booking site, bookings for cultural experiences have risen sharply, with a 45% increase this year, compared to 2017.  Bookings by UK travellers for cultural experiences jumped by 32% in the first half of 2018.

Cultural experiences, from classic activities centred on architecture, history, and art tours, to emerging cultural experiences, like pub, movie-themed, and food tours, provide travellers with a new perspective on a city, whether it’s the first visit or it’s a hometown stay-cation.

UK culture shines through Pub Tours

Pub tours are the most favoured way for travellers to the UK to explore the country’s culture, TripAdvisor Experiences data reveals. Bookings for Pub Tours saw a whopping 158% jump so far in 2018, compared to 2017. Historical Tours (+54%) are the second most favoured cultural tours in the UK, followed by Movie Tours (+26%) and Culinary and Gourmet Tours (13%), in third and fourth place respectively.

Fastest growing cultural categories for travellers to the UK*

  • Pub Tours                                           + 158%
  • Historical Tours                                  + 54%
  • Movie Tours                                        + 26%
  • Culinary and Gourmet Tours             + 13%

Glasgow among rising European destinations for culture

Glasgow leads the way as a rising destination for cultural experiences in the UK, as bookings for cultural tours in the city show a 148% increase so far in 2018, compared to 2017. The Scottish city also rounded out the top ten rising European destinations for cultural experiences, which saw Copenhagen (+751%), Brussels (+535%), and Verona (+286%), rank among the top three, respectively.

Fastest growing destinations in Europe for Cultural & Theme tours**

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark                                  + 751%
  2. Brussels, Belgium                                          + 535%
  3. Verona, Italy                                                    + 286%
  4. Berlin, Germany                                             + 198%
  5. Bucharest, Romania                                       + 197%
  6. Orvieto, Italy                                                    + 192%
  7. Cognac, France                                               + 184%
  8. Moscow, Russia                                              + 162%
  9. Bratislava, Slovakia                                        + 150%
  10. Glasgow, Scotland                                          + 148%

Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “Glasgow has long had a reputation as a major cultural centre thanks to our Charles Rennie Mackintosh heritage, UNESCO City of Music credentials, contemporary art talent and world-class public art collections – many in free museums in galleries – so I’m delighted to see us recognised as among the fastest growing cultural destinations in Europe.

“Glasgow’s cultural offering is central to the city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023, which sets out a clear direction for building the city’s global profile as a successful tourism destination. This recognition is a great sign that the strategy is working for Glasgow and that our cultural experiences really are wowing visitors.”

Belgium is fastest-growing country globally for cultural experiences

Globally, Belgium has proved to be a hit with travellers seeking cultural experiences this year, as bookings show a colossal 1,305% jump, compared to last year. Denmark, with its ‘hygge’ culture, also showed significant growth, jumping 750% compared to the previous year. While Fiji - known for its unique melange of South Asian cultures - came third as traveller bookings for cultural experiences in the country rose by 195%, compared to 2017.

Fastest growing destinations for Cultural tours (global)***

  1. Belgium                                  + 1,305%
  2. Denmark                                 + 751%
  3. Fiji                                           + 195%
  4. Romania                                 + 150%
  5. Slovakia                                  + 150%
  6. Cambodia                               + 130%
  7. Russia                                     + 117%
  8. Hungary                                  + 117%
  9. Colombia                                + 109%
  10. Germany                                 +102%

“Globally, travellers are looking for that local insight into a destination - they want to fully immerse themselves in the culture of that place and come home knowing they’ve soaked up as much of the essence of the destination as possible,” said TripAdvisor spokesperson Hayley Coleman. “The changing traveller itinerary reflects this desire. Whether it’s through a walking tour exploring Soho’s historic pubs, a Samurai Experience in Kyoto, or a guided walk through the ruins of Pompeii, TripAdvisor has cultural experiences around the world that travellers can book to get that insider feeling.”

To help travellers get ahead of the cultural experiences travel trend, TripAdvisor is also releasing the fastest growing cultural experiences in the world.

Fastest growing cultural experiences in the world




YoY growth


2-Hour Samurai Experience in Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan



Ghosts of Charleston Tour

Charleston, USA



Whitney Plantation Tour

New Orleans, USA



Geisha Experience at Chaya in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan



Bohemian Bucharest Markets and Mahallas Walking Food Tour

Bucharest, Romania



Acropolis of Athens Tour

Athens, Greece



Rome and Colosseum Underground Tour with Third Tier Access

Rome, Italy



Florence Duomo Baptistery, Cathedral, Museum Small-Group Tour

Florence, Italy



Weta Cave Workshop Tour

Wellington, New Zealand



La Fortuna Rainforest Chocolate Tour with Cocoa Farm Admission

La Fortuna, Costa Rica



Based on category bookings in from January to July in 2017 vs. 2018. 


Notes to Editors

* Based on booking growth in each category from January to July 2017 vs. 2018.
**Based on cultural experience bookings in destinations from January to July in 2017 vs. 2018.
***Based on cultural experience bookings in each country from January to July in 2017 vs. 2018.  


About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site*, enables travellers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 661 million reviews and opinions covering the world's largest selection of travel listings worldwide – covering approximately 7.7 million accommodations, airlines, experiences, and restaurants -- TripAdvisor provides travellers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travellers can find the lowest price on the hotel that's right for them. TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world's largest travel community of 456 million average monthly unique visitors**, all looking to get the most out of every trip. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, including more than 20 travel media brands:,,,,,,, (including,, and,,,,,,,,,,,, and

* Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, November 2017

** Source: TripAdvisor log files, average monthly unique visitors, Q2 2018