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Is educational travel the next stage beyond sightseeing tourism?

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Photo Journalist, RK Journeyman

I recently attended a fiber arts tour in Asheville (North Carolina, USA) that exemplified the immersive qualities of educational travel.

I'm a photo journalist and explore educational travel as it relates to nurturing destination communities. The traveling public want real immersive educational experiences and look for those folks with similar interests to go together as a small group.

What are some good examples of educational travel you've seen?

1 month ago (edited)
Founder, Green Summers - Educational travel in Vietnam

Not the next stage really. We think every age group has different purposes on travel. And we are doing a lot of educational travel groups in Vietnam, but they are all students (from USA, Australia and New Zealand). And we never receive a request on educational travel for adults.

1 month ago
Managing Director, Scivi Travel

I would say that it belongs to the broader experimental tourism where customer's demand is not just sightseeing, but to immerse, involve and possibly engage at some extent to the destination.

1 month ago
Founder, Vibe Adventures

I would agree as in my opinion educational travel correlates a lot with experiential travel, which is a lot about authenticity and local experiences, learning and seeing the destination the way it is, meeting local people and traditions the way they are without limits of overly commercial or tourist activities

1 month ago
Co-Founder, TheWaysBeyond

We also do a lot of educational tours in Paris and France, but it is mainly for US University students, on topics as diverse as French Cinema, French Hospitality or Civil Engineering. We've been contacted for more in-depth trips for adults, but they were never really seen as "educational travels" per se.
On the other hand, in terms of experiences, the offer has developed quite well in France in the recent years, a.o. with local craftsmen and -women opening their doors to exhibit their work and sometimes propose to initiate guests to their craft.

1 month ago
Sales | Nomad | Photography, ahimsaimages

What exactly is 'educational travel'? I don't know what this means.

Is it about learning about the modern and ancient history of a particular city or country? Is it experiencing local cuisine and culture? Is it being in tune with local customs through taking part in festivals, shows etc? I find all of these things educational and can be delivered in a number of ways.

Reading some of the comments here, it sounds like educational travel is only correlated with traditional tertiary education. If that is the case, to survive, it simply needs to pivot and address the needs of travellers beyond students.

1 month ago
Owner, Cultural Perspectives Limited

I’d perhaps quantify educational travel under two headers. Firstly, there are those who choose to pursue a specific ‘educational’ vacation where they are interested in being introduced to new ‘hands-on’ hobbies/crafts etc or given the opportunity to develop or extend their existing skill set – painting and cooking being two obvious ones I suppose. Then, there are those who actively consider being educated or better informed, rather than taught, as part of a wider ‘themed’ holiday experience where historical or cultural tours continue to grow in popularity. These latter tours where you are part of a large group certainly have their place. However, I found that there’s an increased demand for much smaller groups where, with just a handful of clients, it’s possible to add value to the whole holiday experience by offering private access, behind the scenes elements including ‘meet and greets’ with colleagues and fellow professionals etc which would simply not be possible with larger parties. At the end of the day it’s simply down to personal choice but often there’s only a very limited price differential between being seen as a somewhat impersonal number on a checklist, or where you’re treated very much as a valued individual.

1 month ago
Photo Journalist, RK Journeyman

Here are some of my Go To sites:

There are an increasing number of local guide sites as well.
I encourage destination communities to develop showcasing the things they are most proud of. Then target market to travelers that share those interests. Engaging those travelers with shared special interests is a better experience for traveler and destination. Broadly appealing to a large number of sightseeing tourists has negative impact.

1 month ago
Photo Journalist, RK Journeyman

I forgot to include Craft Tours!

1 month ago
Travel blogger, Limitedlimitlessliving

thanks for taking the time to compile this list. Very helpful

1 month ago
Photo Journalist, RK Journeyman

Here are two sites worth looking at if you have an interest in mindful travel:

1 month ago
Freelance tour guide and travel consultant and travel blogger.

Educational travel has been around for decades. But it often takes a few years of more regular travel, before people start embracing educational travel and slow travel.

1 month ago