Uncovering insights about cultural wanderlust through traveler segmentation
June 9th, 2023, Hoang Nguyen

Uncovering insights about cultural wanderlust through traveler segmentation

As travel behaviors and preferences continue to evolve, it’s important to approach destination and traveler research with careful audience segmentation.

There are nearly as many different types of travelers out there — from luxury travelers to adventure seekers to culture and history buffs — as there are places to visit in the world. In this analysis, we’ll look at the market for cultural tourism to learn more about travelers who venture forth to experience different cultures and learn about history (i.e., cultural travelers).

We’ll also evaluate the market for cultural travel across 30 global markets and answer questions like where cultural travelers in China and the US are considering traveling to, how much they tend to spend on trips, and where they stay on while vacation.

Where in the world are cultural travelers?

The allure of cultural travel is strong around the globe. Data from Global Travel Profiles – YouGov’s travel-specific audience intelligence and destination tracking tool available in 30 markets – reveals that 23% of global leisure travelers say they travel for culture and history.

Looking around the world we see that Japan has the highest share of cultural travelers with 33% of Japanese consumers who plan to travel having a keen interest in cultural and historical exploration. Similarly, travelers in the UK (31%) and Spain (30%) also share a strong affinity for cultural travel.

There are several other markets that over index in the share of cultural travelers against the global average, including the Netherlands (27%), Italy, (26%), China (26%), Finland (25%), Malaysia (24%), the US (24%) and Australia (23%).

On other end, travelers in Chile, Colombia, Thailand and Brazil are the least likely to say they travel for culture and history.

Market-level insights for cultural travelers

Segmenting culture travelers can help us analyze their travel patterns, motivations and decision-making processes more accurately. What’s more, understanding the preferences of these cultural and history enthusiasts enables destination marketers and tourism boards to promote their unique cultural assets effectively and enhance visitor experiences.

Let’s delve into a few insights about cultural travelers from the following key markets:


  • Number of trips: 40% of cultural travelers from the US plan to take 3 or more trips in 2023.
  • Accommodation type: 62% of cultural travelers from the US stay at standard hotel/motels (3-star or below) when they travel and 42% stay at luxury hotels (4 or 5-star).
  • Destination preferences: The top considered destinations among this group are Italy (41%), the UK (39%), Hawaii (38%), Canada (37%), and Scotland (35%).


  • Hotel stay duration: 13% of cultural travelers from China stayed in a hotel 8+ nights last year.
  • Holiday spend: 35% of Chinese cultural travelers spent more than 6000¥ ($840) per person on their most recent trip.
  • Destination preferences: Japan (40%), Hong Kong (36%), Singapore (36%), Macau (34%) and Thailand (32%) are the most considered destinations among this group of cultural travelers.


  • Number of trips abroad: 21% of cultural travelers from India took 3 or more trips abroad last year.
  • Destination preferences: Himachal (46%), Goa (43%), Kerala (41%), Maldives (39%) and Dubai (39%) are the top considered destinations among Indian cultural travelers.


  • Travel companions: 34% of cultural travelers traveled with family members such as parents or grandparents on their most recent holiday.
  • Accommodation type: These travelers are just as likely to say they stay at luxury hotels (49%) as they do standard hotels (48%) while on holiday.
  • Destination preferences: Cultural travelers from the UAE are most likely to consider Dubai (52%), Abu Dhabi (44%), the UK (42%), Switzerland (39%) and the Maldives (37%) for their next vacation.


  • Holiday spend: 52% of Norwegian cultural travelers spent more than 10,000 NOK ($929) per person on their most recent holiday.
  • Destination preferences: Italy (46%) ranks highest in consideration among this group followed by Denmark (41%), Spain (41%), Norway (40%) and the UK (37%).


  • Holiday time frame: Outside of summer, September is the next busiest month for travel among cultural travelers in the UK (14% intend to go on holiday in September).
  • Age breaks: 28% of cultural travelers from the UK are 18-34 years old and a similar share are aged 35-49 (28%). More than two in five (43%) are aged 50 and over.
  • Destination preferences: The top considered destinations among these travelers include Italy (53%), Spain (47%), Greece (42%), France (41%) and Portugal (40%).

There’s plenty more to learn about travelers who find joy in unraveling stories of the past and embarking on cultural trips. Our data can also provide insights into other types of vacationers such as those who travel for health and wellness or those who take shorter weekend trips.

By leveraging this type of audience intelligence research during a key period of travel recovery, marketers and tourism boards can uncover evolving trends, preferences and behaviors to make informed decisions about specific to individual traveler segments and stay head of their competition.

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.

Explore our living data – for free

To receive monthly insights about travel and tourism register here.

To read YouGov’s latest intelligence on the travel industry explore here.

Photo by Sorasak on Unsplash