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Why not travel to different times, not places?

October 16, 2008

I get a lot of press releases from Barbara at the German tourist board… probably once a fortnight.

One I received yesterday caught my eye, and without wanting to sound like a Trekky, it’s about travelling not to places, but to a time.

In this case, the board is promoting the history of Berlin, in particular the Holocaust. The theme is “Welcome to Jewish Berlin”. More here.

I don’t know if the term is socio-tourism, or historical tourism, but in the same grouping I’d include visiting battlefields. Areas such as the Somme in the Picardy region of France still attract tens of thousands of tourists, learning about World War I.

Then in South Africa there are the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields. I spent a few days, years ago, driving around this region and visited Ladysmith and learnt about the seige of the town, the strategies etc. As well as amazing safaris – history can play an important role in tourism, so I think this latest plan from the German tourist board is a good idea.

Independent travel agents are being urged to specialise at the moment (as Thomas Cook and Tui Travel begin to dominate the typical package market), and I think socio-tourism is one area that could be a future growth area.

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