Neverending tourism, a new tourist experience

 Tags: innovation

The worst crises in history often give rise to great advances. The pandemic is a case in point. In this post, we’re going to take a look at one way the tourism industry has revolutionised the way visitors holiday: neverending tourism, a term coined by the Digital Innovation in Tourism Observatory at Polytechnic University of Milan. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the concept. 

Neverending tourism is all about extending the tourist experience, both in terms of time and space, using digital technology. This new way of travel gives tourist companies the opportunity to create products and processes that are designed to extend beyond the experience of simply visiting the destination and indeed, as the name suggests, never end. The concept encourages businesses working in the tourism industry to innovate their services, giving them a wide range of opportunities to do so. 


The benefits of neverending tourism for visitors 

Who doesn’t want their getaway to go on and on? The demand for magazines, travel guides and travel documentaries is constantly rising as is the appetite for souvenirs, local food products and craft items. Travellers read up on their trip before, during and after their holiday as they seek to make the tourist experience last longer. This is a way of keeping the relationship with the destination alive before they get there and when they get back home. 

Technology offers plenty of opportunities to extend the tourist experience. According to data from the Digital Innovation in Tourism Observatory in Milan, the number of tourists buying local products from the destinations they visited online has increased consistently since 2016, demonstrating the growing potential of the market. 

experience programme


The COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the weeks of lockdown, reinforced certain trends that we had already been seeing, such as the total amount of time spent online, which rose exponentially. In Italy, according to the Digital Content Observatory at Polytechnic University of Milan, during the first lockdown 40% of internet users spent more time consuming podcasts, videogames, music and news online. Similarly, there was a rise in the use of digital services such as online banking, online shopping, food deliveries, etc. 

This rising trend had an impact on the tourist experience. The internet consolidated its role, not only as a source of inspiration, but also as a direct channel for the experience, enabling users to do activities online that you could previously only do in-person, such as visiting a museum or taking a look

During the pandemic, searches for virtual museums went up, leading to the creation of cultural and tourist content that complements the traditional physical experience. 


Neverending tourism experiences

To meet this growing demand for virtual experiences before and after travel, many tourist destinations offered a wide range of digital services during the toughest months of the pandemic. According to the conclusions drawn by the Digital Innovation in Heritage and Culture Observatory, 80% of museums sights and archaeological sites in Italy offered online content - such as educational activities, guided tours and workshops - in 2020 to maintain their relationship with visitors and keep them loyal. 

 tourist experience design manualFuente: Museo Picasso Málaga


Nevertheless, despite what you might think, neverending experiences don’t necessarily have to revolve around online shopping and digital content. A good example are the experiences offered by an Italian tour operator and airport, which has launched a service enabling customers to pre-order duty free products with a discount before their trip or book a personal shopper who will help them make purchases in airport stores before their flight. 

The province of Malaga - Costa del Sol is a proponent of this new trend, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in all sorts of experiences related to the destination before, during and after your trip. You can, for instance, read the posts in our blog and make the most of the information in our guides, such as ‘Unique Experiences in the Costa del Sol’. Perhaps you’ve been a neverending tourist for some time and you just didn’t know it!

New call-to-action


Search in
our blog

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

All about the Costa del Sol in your inbox

Submit your email address and receive exclusive information and great offers about the Costa del Sol.


Related posts