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Gift Experiences

13 November 2010

"Experiential gifts" also know as experience gifts and gift experiences now represent one of the faster growing segments of the $253 billion a year gift industry. Experiential gifts tend to fall into the following groups;

  • Adventure - skydiving, whitewater rafting, hang gliding
  • Driving - rallyingg, ferrari driving, V8 supercars
  • Gourmet - wine tasting, gourmet cooking lessons
  • Environmentally friendly - city tours, whale watching
  • Rejuvenate - spa treatments, massages

While popular in both Australia and Europe, the idea of the gift experience did not hit the US until 2004 - 2005. Between 2004 and 2005, the three largest US based experience gift companies were founded. All three continue to operate today, offering experiences across the nation. In Asia, the experience gift industry was pioneered in 2010 by a Hong Kong based company.

As of 2009, the experiential gift market is an established, highly competitive multi-million dollar market in the United Kingdom and in Australia and an emerging category in the U.S.A.

A survey conducted in November 2005 by American Express found that experiential gift giving was on the rise (30% of those surveyed planned on giving experiential gifts that year versus 23% the prior year). The survey also found that experiential gifts were particularly popular among consumers aged 18-44. A survey published in 2007 by Mintel estimated the UK gift experience market to be worth £98 million.

According to the same American Express survey, the growth of interest in buying experience gifts in the UK is: Year 2001 : 18% Year 2002 : 20% Year 2003 : 20% Year 2004 : 22% Year 2005 : 23% Year 2006 : 30% Year 2007 : 34% Year 2008 : 35,5%.

Gift experiences also capitalize on consumers' growing comfort with purchasing gifts online. According to a November 2006 survey conducted by TNS on behalf of The Conference Board, 35 percent of all consumers planned to buy holiday gifts on the Internet in 2006.

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