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Heritage travel is the latest trend Aussies are embracing to explore the world

May 23, 2019 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Airbnb, in partnership with personal genomics and biotechnology company, 23andMe, has released research that shows a large number of Aussies are embracing a new travel trend – heritage travel, whereby they visit destinations their ancestors are from in an attempt to get closer to their roots. According to the report, 58% of Australians with known ancestry outside of Australia have travelled to at least one country from their heritage.

With the rise of at-home genetic tests, it has never been easier to learn about your ancestry, and this has directly contributed to the growth of heritage travellers. In fact, two-thirds (62%) of Australians would like to take a test to determine their heritage and 56% would give up alcohol for a year in exchange for a fully funded trip to a place of ancestry!

Australians are particularly interested to pursue ancestry travel to better understand the history of their roots, with 70% of Australians considering a heritage travel trip for this exact reason. Some of the other top reasons include the opportunity to experience art and culture, to interact with the local people and enjoy their cuisine.

The rise of heritage travel is also prevalent on Airbnb. Since 2014, the number of travellers using Airbnb to trace their roots has increased by 500%. Interestingly, 78% of these trips are taken in pairs or solo, suggesting that these are either an introspective journey, or an important moment to share with a significant other. Additionally, as our guests grow older, their desire to better understand their roots grows as well, with the majority of guests aged 60-90 being the most likely of any age group to undertake a heritage trip.

“At Airbnb, we believe that authentic travel experiences help you connect with local cultures and create a sense of belonging anywhere in the world — and what better way to do that than travelling to your roots,” said Sam McDonagh, Country Manager, Airbnb Australia. “We’re proud to team up with 23andMe, global leaders in genetic testing, to help Aussies learn more about their genes and ancestry and make it easier for travellers to plan trips that are as unique as their DNA.”

“We’ve heard from so many of our customers that they not only discover something new about their heritage through 23andMe, but also that they want a way to take this further and explore their roots,” said Robin Smith, Head of Ancestry Product, 23andMe. “We’re excited to team up with Airbnb to encourage people to travel more meaningfully, or even explore their roots in their own backyard.”

Today, Airbnb and 23andMe are teaming up to make travelling to your roots easier. On 23andMe, once a customer receives their ancestry reports, they will be able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb Homes and Experiences in their native countries. Additionally, Airbnb now has dedicated pages that correspond with 23andMe’s genetic populations, so that travellers coming to Airbnb’s site will be able to easily plan a heritage trip.

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