Could tourism as we know it really be changing? Already Airbnb has encouraged tourists not to "do" cities, but to "live there." Now Lufthansa Sweden has created a campaign that it calls "reality tourism" in which it encourages people to explore new places as if they lived there.
As a pilot project, promoting its new flights from Frankfurt to San Jose, California, the airline sent Swedish social media star Nille af Ekentsam to discover what it's like to live in Silicon Valley, with his remit including attending job interviews, online dating and more. His travels are recorded in a series of blog posts on the Lufthansa Reality Tours site.
The reality tours concept was developed by creative director Simon Strand. According to Strand, Lufthansa believes this is "third generation" tourism, which is evolving from relaxing, to experiencing, to understanding the place you go and visit. Strand said that the idea was probably most interesting for tourists who are business professionals, since the idea is to live life as a local for a few days, and that would include working.
Gabriel Leupold, Nordic Director for Lufthansa, said in a statement: "The ongoing international debate about cultural differences is livelier than in a very long time. And in a globalized world, airlines play the role of bridge builders between different places and cultures. Therefore, we have developed this inspirational format to make it easier for travelers to deeply understand new places. Now we test the interest for reality tourism, and then we will see how we can develop it further."