Just returned from a trip to Istanbul, Turkey.  I can say without a doubt that cultural travel is in full swing.  According to futurist, Rohit Talwar, he sees a bright future for cultural travel as a counter to those who want a boxed, all-in-one vacation experience.  I’ve also seen in recent weeks travel trends for 2012 reported by Thomas Stanley, CEO of Cox & Kings, that include “Ends of the Earth” journeys that are off-the beaten path and more cultural in nature than the typical “tourism created” escapes.

As a PR specialist, I feel our profession has a true responsibility to help educate and promote cultural tourism, not only help increase awareness, but to inspire travelers to learn about different cultures.

As stated I recently was in Istanbul for the ISHC conference. I had the great fortune to witness the Whirling Dervish performace in a building that was once a bath house dating back to the year 500.  The dance ceremony was spell binding, increadibly interesting, and was spiritual in nature dating back to 1273.

Cultural travel has always been a part of the industry, but it is my hope that leisure travelers will gravitate to this travel niche.  I will be discovering new cultural activities to share and experience. Safe travels and, of course, if you have a great cultural experience you would like to share I would love to hear of it.