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Cultural Heritage Holidays 

What is a Cultural Heritage holiday?

Cultural heritage tourism is broad market term that is characterised by many sub or niche markets and a cultural heritage holiday is likely to include one or more cultural activities according to what’s on offer.  Examples of activities that can be involved in cultural heritage tourism include:

  • Architectural and architectural treasures
  • Arts, sculptures, crafts and galleries
  • Botanical gardens
  • Castles and palaces
  • Culinary activities
  • Festivals, markets and local events
  • Historic or heritage sites, monuments and landmarks
  • Museums and exhibitions
  • Music and dance activities
  • Religious venues, temples and mosques
  • Sightseeing, including village tours 

The highlighted activities are key cultural heritage categories that flourish throughout most South Pacific destinations and offer cultural heritage tourists the opportunity to enjoy authentic South Pacific experiences in unique ways.  Such activities are most likely to be undertaken through the following routes:

  • Within tailor made trips organised through niche operators.
  • Arranged separately by independent travellers.
  • Through specific cultural tours that are either pre-booked, booked locally or arranged independently.
  • Via day trips or half-day trips; might include one or more overnight stays, depending upon the activity and location.
  • Within small-scale cruising which also offer passengers the opportunity to take part in pre-arrange cultural activities upon arrival at a destination.

How much do Cultural Heritage tourists spend on a specialist trip?

Specialist cultural heritage trips to the South Pacific are expensive holiday options for European and American markets.  As a guide, dependent on length of stay, airfare cost and type of accommodation, a specialist trip to Papua New Guinea is estimated to cost in the region of US$12,000.  However, a shorter trip from North America will start from around US$4,000.  From Europe, a general cultural tour will be in the region of US$9,000 including flights.

Specifics of Cultural Heritage holidays

  • Germans take the longest holidays and would expect a cultural heritage trip to last between 14 to 28 days with an average trip being around 17 days.
  • French cultural heritage tourists take shorter holidays to the South Pacific, lasting between seven and 20 days, averaging around 14 days.
  • Visitors from the UK will stay for between 12 and 21 days, with an average of about 14 days for a specialist holiday.  However, they are also likely to be on a stopover from a trip to Australia which means they will stay in the South Pacific for three to five days. 
  • Americans are closer to the South Pacific and also have shorter holiday entitlements and will stay from seven to 14 days.

Opportunities for Travel Agents and Tour Operators

  • Raise awareness of the wide range of unique cultural experiences in the different countries and provide relevant information about activities to inspire a sense of discovery.
  • Develop itineraries and hands-on learning programmes in conjunction with ground operators in country and create packages that can be combined with adventure activities such as kayaking, hiking and diving.
  • Build personal relationships with trade suppliers and operators to help achieve and exceed customer expectations which in turn could lead to repeat business and word of mouth endorsement.

Issues in the Marketplace

  • The lack of interest amongst the closest source markets of Australia and New Zealand could be addressed through relevant marketing and promotional campaigns to create a ‘wow’ factor for the market targeted at the more adventurous and active visitor, rather than the sun, sea and sand mass market.
  • Cost of travel and accessibility to more remote regions and countries are issues for potential tourists.  Be aware of the regional flight schedules and which local operators operate regional passes which offer value and convenience to the customer.