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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 18/01/2023

In the last few years, the tourism industry has seen a shift in how people travel and what they’re looking to experience when they visit a destination. From a focus on wellness, to connecting more with local communities, to considering how to minimise their environmental footprint, visitors are changing how they travel.

These trends have led to a rise in new styles of accommodation such as glamping, cabins and eco-pods. Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland, has seen the impact of these travel trends with businesses opening or diversifying to adapt to this new kind of travel.

The latest travel experiences visitors are looking for...

  • Wellness

    Wellness tourism is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing physical and mental wellbeing. During the pandemic, after long periods of lockdowns, domestic visitors turned to nature and reconnecting with family. Getting out to explore Scotland allowed visitors to be more active and to step away from screens - helping to boost their mental wellbeing.

    Wellness is becoming an integral part of travel as consumers seek to:

    • get away from everyday life
    • visit friends and family
    • spend time in nature
    • take a digital detox 
  • Localism

    Localism also became more prominent during the pandemic. With international and even certain domestic travel prohibited, residents looked to local businesses and attractions for escape and entertainment. This support for local businesses and communities has developed with more travellers looking to visit small, independent businesses and have an authentic and unique experience. 

  • Responsible Tourism

    Increasing numbers of visitors are considering how they can travel in a more responsible way as a result of the global climate crisis. When considering where to travel, eat and stay, many visitors will now look at how businesses are playing their part to tackle climate change.

    Learn more about responsible tourism.

A new accommodation on the rise

These travel trends and behaviours help to explain why our staff, who are out meeting with businesses, have noticed a rise in glamping sites, cabins and eco-pod style accommodation.

Often equipped with only the necessities, this accommodation is particularly popular for people looking to escape into nature, connect with local communities and travel in a responsible way.

We spoke to two businesses in Ayrshire benefitting from this change in visitor behaviour.

Jack's Alt Stays - a new cabin accommodation experience on the Isle of Cumbrae

Exterior of a cabin at Jack's Alt Stays
Exterior of a cabin at Jack's Alt Stays
Image credit Jack's Alt Stays

Craigengillan Estate - introducing a new accommodation offer for horse riders

A glamping pod at Craigengillan Estate
A glamping pod at Craigengillan Estate
Image credit N M Photoghraphy

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