HIDDEN SCOTLAND’S LATEST SURVEY REVEALS 83% OF PEOPLE PREFER SLOW TRAVEL TO TICK BOX TOURISM

Hidden Scotland has commissioned a survey in order to find out more about the travel habits of people who are travelling to and around Scotland. Their mission is to encourage and champion the slow travel movement and wanted to find out for themselves from their captive audience what their travel habits are and if they too adopted this way of travel or wanted to do so in the future.

Hidden Scotland put forward 21 questions to 1000 people to find out more about their travelling style, and found that the majority of travellers prefer to travel off the beaten path and look for less tourist areas and attractions (84%). This shows us that less people are looking to only follow the guide books, visiting the main attractions in order to tick as many popular tourist sights as possible off their list in a short amount of time. 

A majority of people like to slow travel (83%) taking their time exploring a place for themselves, being immersed in the local culture and are open to new experiences. 74% of people stated that they like to live as the locals do when travelling to new places. The difference between taking your time, thoroughly exploring an area or hurrying your way through a list of sights in a short window, is the possibility of missing out on a more cathartic experience that can truly enrich and better our lives.

Featured Results

78% enjoy the journey as much as the destination when travelling.

90% enjoy walking or cycling whilst on holiday.

84% prefer to travel off the beaten path and look for less touristy areas and attractions.

81% enjoy exploring places in their own local area.

68% update their social media when travelling.

78% of people say a trip they have taken has changed them as a person.

74% of people stated that they like to live as the locals do when travelling to new places.

So what exactly is slow travel?

Slow travel is a way of exploring a new place that not only enables you to absorb your surroundings and immerse yourself in the culture, but also enhances your connection with the people who live and work there.

“By spending your time absorbing the local culture: browsing the independent shops where artisan goods are sold; enjoying traditional cuisine at cafes and restaurants; or chatting to locals, allows you to connect with where you are instead of simply seeing it.” Jack Cairney, Founder Hidden Scotland

Without the constraints of a jam packed itinerary you are able to dictate the pace of your travel, spending more time focusing on the aspects of your journey that are important to you, rather than being dictated to you by what everyone else is doing. You can pick and choose your destinations and experiences at a pace that suits you, without the need to pack up and move on to the next place by a given time. Slow travel enhances your connection to the here-and-now and everything that makes a location unique: its people, food, culture, music and trade.

“Slow travel can take us out of our comfort zones, teach us how to deal with new people and environments, and challenge us to get off our phones and actively seek out new experiences.” Jack Cairney, Founder Hidden Scotland

More than ever in today’s hectic-paced, social media-driven world where we are left feeling more pressure than ever before. We crave the time out to switch off and relax spending our time doing things that will benefit our well-being. With 96% of people agreeing that being in nature helps them to relieve stress.

“When we stop, close our eyes and listen when out in nature, something magical happens. The sounds of nature hold so much power and help heal our everyday stresses fears and anxieties”. Jack Cairney, Founder Hidden Scotland

Timescale is an important factor when adopting the slow travel movement. Contrary to belief, slow travel doesn’t mean being on tour for three months while you explore every inch of the country. Slow travel works just as well for a week’s stay and it’s still fine to hop onto an express train to leap from Edinburgh to Inverness rather than trek the length of Scotland by road. Slow travel is a mindset, not a means of transportation.

By allowing yourself more time you will have the option to explore areas on foot or by bike. During the survey when asked if people liked to walk or cycle whilst exploring Scotland, 90% of respondents said yes. This method of getting around will increase your chances of discovering hidden gems that might not be listed in the guide books, therefore creating your own experiences and seeing a place with fresh eyes. If you are up against the restriction of set timescales and cramming in as many tourist attractions in a short timeframe, then you are more likely to miss out on these experiences. You may even return home after your trip feeling more stressed than when you first left.

You will also want to carefully consider the time of year that you travel to and around Scotland. Like most places the most popular travel season is in Summer when it is warm and when children are enjoying their school holidays. Although this is a lovely time to visit, if you want to fully reap the benefits of slow travel then the less popular travel months are your best bet. The quieter seasons can even allow for you to have the opportunity to enjoy some places all to yourself. This can increase the benefits of connecting with nature on another level and will leave you with memories that will be cherished for a long time.

Conclusion

The majority of travellers coming to Scotland or people living here wishing to explore their own country, are much more inclined to adopt or want to adopt slow travel methods as opposed to cramming in as much as they possibly can into short stays. The benefits are incredibly impactful to not only you and your experience and wellbeing but also to the people and the independent businesses of the places that you visit.

Slow travel is a mindset therefore this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a list of places that you want to see or an itinerary or plan for where you are going. It means that you can be flexible and enjoy the places that you are going while you are there, instead of simply visiting a landmark, packing up and moving on to the next one. Have a base, explore some places by foot, see things that you might not of seen, and have the chance to be spontaneous.

This mindset can be achieved in any place that you visit, are you spending a weekend in Edinburgh? That’s great! This city has some of the world’s most famous landmarks, but it also has some secrets and gems that can be discovered if you allow yourself the freedom of walking the streets, and being treated to the discovery of some places that will call out to you!

Who are Hidden Scotland

Hidden Scotland is one of the UK’s fastest growing travel brands. A source of inspiration and information, carefully curated to better equip you on your journey around Scotland, showing you that you can enjoy a more enriched experience by adopting slow travel methods.

They create and collaborate with photographers, Scottish brands, local businesses and local people to produce informative and innovative content that gives you the knowledge and tips to maximise your experience, helping you make memories that will last a lifetime.

By being informed and staying ahead of the curve they develop creative online resources that encourage you to immerse yourself in nature, explore the areas of Scotland that you visit and to take your time while doing so, which will result in a fulfilling experience for you and for the people who live in the places that you visit.

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