By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff
July 24, 2014

The term "authenticity" is one we've heard again and again (tired of it yet?), though it remains on the tongue of industry insiders thanks to an influx of travelers who continue to seek out local experiences around the globe. At the recent travel conference ILTM Asia, in Shanghai, which brings together travel agents, hoteliers, and the media, T+L's Sarah Spagnolo once again dug into the trend of connecting travelers with local culture. Watch the video for a couple examples of new programs.

Relais & Châteaux CEO Jean François Ferret explains how properties in the R&C collection help to bring guests closer to local customs. He provides two examples: At Domaine des Hauts de Loire in France's Loire Valley, guests participate in local fishing excursions in addition to long walks past in the surrounding wilderness. Travelers who unpack at Chewton Glen, near Hampshire's New Forest National Park in the United Kingdom, forage for mushrooms that are later used as ingredients at the Vetiver restaurant.

How are new hotels identifying and delivering meaningful experiences? We're abuzz over the opening of the Shangri-La Lhasa in Tibet, which overlooks the Potola Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kieran Twomey, VP and general manager of sister hotel Jing An Shangri-La, describes that Shangri-La Lhasa’s location, right in the city center, affords prime access to the destination's singular charms.

For more from Spagnolo at ITLM Asia, watch our Where to Shop in Shanghai and Where to Stay in Shanghai videos.