Blog: Transformative tourism

A journey into oneself and breakthrough experiences

Welcome to the world of transformative tourism, where a journey doesn’t end with a visit to a destination, but begins through discovering one’s own potential and profound knowledge. Transformative tourism is like an open book calling to be explored through emotions, thoughts and experiences.

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WOODWEGO_Blog_transformativni_turizem

“Imagine this: the sun rays gently caress the morning as you wake up in the embrace of a forest surrounded by green spruce trees and a murmuring stream. Your cottage in the middle of nature becomes your world in which you unwind and connect with yourself. This isn’t just a getaway, it’s a journey into oneself. Transformative tourism is more than just visiting different places. It’s about in-depth connection with them. Learning about local communities, their stories and traditions becomes the very heart of your holiday. While hiking the mountains or meditating at sunset, you’re opening up to new realisations about yourself and the world around you. Every step you take in nature is an opportunity for personal growth, and new experience provides an opportunity for surpassing one’s own boundaries.”

DISCOVER TRANSFORMATIVE TOURISM

Transformative tourism is a concept that exceeds the classical understanding of tourism as mere visiting of destinations and enjoying tourist attractions. Instead, a comprehensive approach to travelling and experiencing destinations is placed at the forefront. Its holistic approach takes into account the physical, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing of guests and local communities, which is why it could also be called transformative holistic tourism.
It has developed in recent decades as a response to the need for a deeper connection with the people and places that tourists visit and as a response to the growing demand for experience which leads to personal development and change. To more conscious living. Its beginnings are closely linked with travels that are based on spiritual quests, volunteering, education and similar forms of travelling that focus on personal growth.

IT IS POTENTIAL IN A WORLD THAT CRAVES COMPREHENSIVE EXPERIENCES

The potential of transformative holistic tourism is growing, as it’s meeting the consumers’ growing demand for more comprehensive and experiential travels and experiences (article on the latest global trends detected by the Booking portal can be found here). It promotes personality and sustainable development of destinations and local communities and respect for nature, culture and tradition. Nowadays, its potential is particularly important due to the tourists’ growing awareness about the significance of sustainability, conscious experiencing of travels and living and the desire for authentic experiences. This tendency has been further enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which made people engage more intensively with themselves and their environment.

“What’s so special about transformative tourism? It’s not just about having fun, but learning, too. Learning about other cultures, nature, yourself. Every moment is an opportunity for reflection and growth. At the end of your travel experience, you may notice that you’ve become more compassionate, more open or simply more grateful for your life.
As you grow, so does the world around you. Transformative tourism promotes sustainable development of destinations and local communities. Cooperation with local residents, respect for nature and cultural heritage and care for the environment become the foundations of your travels.”

WHAT ARE THE KEY AREAS FOR GENERATING POSITIVE CHANGE

The magnitude of the potential of transformative holistic tourism is also displayed by the fact that it includes numerous fields that the tourist industry recognises as topical. These include:
Sustainability – the emphasis on sustainability and conservation of the environment and the cultural heritage of destinations enables long-term tourism development;
Inclusion of local communities – promotion of local residents’ participation in the development of tourist products and the sharing of their knowledge and culture with tourists;
Education and raising awareness – provision of educational programmes and activities, which enable tourists to obtain new knowledge, skills and perspectives;
Volunteering and social inclusion – promotion of volunteering and tourists’ participation in projects that benefit local communities and improve their welfare;
Spiritual and wellness tourism – provision of programmes and activities which promote spiritual growth, personal reflection and inner peace;
Connection with nature – development of tourist products that enable in-depth connection with nature and promote sustainable use of natural resources.

With these development directions, transformative tourism can become a key factor in generating positive change at the local, regional and global levels. 

“Slovenia, as a gem of Central Europe, offers outstanding opportunities for transformative travelling. From mountains to the coast, the vineyards and caves, every corner of this country is filled with magic and provides possibilities for personal growth. Your path may lead you through the green countryside of Gorenjska or the vibrant streets of Ljubljana. Wherever you may be, Slovenia will embrace you with its natural beauty, rich culture and hospitable people.”

SLOVENIA’S POTENTIAL FOR TRANSFORMATIVE HOLISTIC TOURISM

WOOD WE GO assesses that the potential for transformative holistic tourism in Slovenia is exceptionally great. The country boasts abundant natural and cultural heritage and diverse opportunities for experiences and activities capable of promoting personal growth and sustainable development. The characteristics that can contribute enormously to this potential include natural sights, cultural heritage, active and healthy lifestyle, excellent geographical position and great emphasis placed on sustainable development.

Slovenia is already implementing certain programmes and incentives that promote transformative tourism, including ecotourism, environmental volunteering programmes, wellness retreats and cultural exchanges. With further development of these and similar programmes and by highlighting sustainability and the preservation of natural and cultural resources, it will possible to make better use of the potential for transformative tourism and become a leading destination in this field. This was also the purpose of establishing the WOOD WE GO portal, which recognises such destinations, inspires and educates.

“Are you ready to travel into yourself? Get out of your comfort zone, open your heart and let the journey take you on an unforgettable adventure through the world of your inner self. Welcome to the world of transformative tourism, among the experiences that change lives.

FIND INSPIRATION THROUGH EXAMPLES OF BEST PRACTICE

We find that the potential of transformative tourism in Slovenia is still relatively overlooked among tourism professionals and guests alike. Foreign guests are much more educated in this regard. They are better prepared, have greater expectations and are willing to pay more for a transformative holistic experience. They are aware of the value of such an offer and are currently majority guests at the most sustainable and boutique Slovenian destinations (article on how to consciously prepare for a trip and unlock your personal growth potential can be found here).
WOOD WE GO thus wishes to highlight the examples of best practice to showcase what effects such an offer can have on guests and providers. We want to take the guest experience to the next level with simultaneous care for the wellbeing of local communities and the planet.

Become part of this beautiful story from which everyone involved will benefit. Find inspiration for yourself. Subscribe to WOOD WE GO news – here, follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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