We have discussed how nature’s importance in travel has shifted. Our priorities have changed, and regarding the bling on luxury lifestyle, nature is now the diamond of luxury travel. Yet, this trend goes further than exclusive accommodation in a natural wonder set.
“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself.” (L. Wolfe Gilbert)
Hence, why don’t we go deeper into this travel trend, considering 2022 is just around the corner?
Nature is the wow factor travelers are looking for
Imagine sipping your morning coffee looking at the immensity of an emerald canopy forest. That sense of greatness is what nature awakes inside us. That’s why, lately, many luxury accommodations have been established on unique natural wonders. Thus, exclusive luxury services began to rely on nature. Moreover, 2020 pushed us to focus on the things that really matter in our life.
In 2021 and 2022, natural travel experiences must be the focus that tour and travel stakeholders need to develop. As the Virtuoso luxury travel member Charles Wolfe stated: “this year it’s all about nature, nature, and nature.” (Forbes, Feb 07, 2021)
Nature allows us to feel alive by breathing and reconnecting with our inner self. How so?
It helps us to put everything in perspective by observing the reality around us. Think about the last time you heard birds chirping in the early morning or a squirrel climbing a tree. Have you had mental intimacy lately?
We need to learn to breathe freely after getting used to wearing facemasks in our daily lives! That’s why nature has become vital for mankind, because it lets us feel alive.
Nature also encourages us to regain our mindset after being pushed into the pandemic crazy wheel that affected our mental health and well-being. Hence, it is vital to develop well-planned natural travel experiences that help travelers live meaningful journeys.
That’s why we need to disconnect digitally to reconnect with nature, as we discussed previously.
Expertise and meaningful connections, the engagement ring for travelers
Besides what we may think, nature is a valuable tool, but it’s not enough for tackling 2022 travel needs. The other crucial factors in our journeys are expertise, local connections, and conscious travel experiences.
We’ve passed that time when overtourism and exhausting travel circuits were a trend. Thus, nowadays, we need to work on:
1. The benefits that our experience can provide to travelers
We all want to learn and be taught by an expert. Imagine learning how to wave an iconic hat that represents a culture or preparing a local dish from those who have been preparing it for generations. And, for experiencing that, our guides’ knowledge is vital.
It’s time to highlight the experiences our guides can offer to the world because they are the soul of a travelers’ journey. They can build the bridge between locals and travelers—guide visitors to an authentic cultural immersion where the highlight relies on locals willing to showcase their customs and traditions. Yet, our challenge is not creating an orchestrated show for tourist purposes.
2. Going beyond swanky services
If we think about luxury travel, it’s easier to imagine private luxury villas, jets, helicopter rides, concierge or butlers, exclusive areas, and flashy services. That’s the luxury travel we were used to, but the industry evolves with people’s needs. So, we should focus on:
- Offering off-the-beaten-track journeys: Inventory all the natural destinations and classify them in terms of beauty, accessibility, uniqueness, and ecosystem. Then, check if it’s possible to include them in your journeys by complimenting them with outstanding services.
- Tailoring bespoke experiences to travelers’ needs: Once your journeys and experiences are identified and classified, you can use them as pieces of a puzzle. Put them together based on your clients’ needs and requirements. It’s easier to build than deconstruct.
- Guaranteeing slow-paced journeys: The essence of a trip is feeling and living everything to its fullest. Sometimes less is more! We need to design the tour to help travelers immerse themselves in the destination and culture with adequate time to digest everything.
- Offering simple things done well: Our challenge is setting a smooth operation that lets everything flow to enjoy the perfection of simple things. Imagine enjoying having an unexpected dinner in the middle of the jungle when you hardly think about it.
- Offering a purpose on your journey: We’re living in an era of purpose. We connect with a reason in life, and that’s the same in a trip. Allowing travelers to go beyond a regular tour by knowing they are giving back or supporting a good cause can make your journeys stand out.
We’re sure that these points are not new to you. Still, we sometimes focus on developing a journey that misses one or many of these vital variables to connect with travelers’ desires. Furthermore, immersing in an exclusive and privileged natural environment, helps travelers to get the most incredible memories of their trip. We just need to offer them the chance to feel that sense of freedom and serenity that’s the ultimate luxury in an ever-busy, complicated world.
Use culture as your second hook for minded travelers
Aside from guaranteeing nature destinations within your product catalog, culture is the other interest that nowadays travelers are looking for. Why? Because we are eager to understand what surrounds us while we’re traveling.
As humans, we’re curious. We want to know what happened in this destination, how they live, what their challenges are, and what makes that place unique in its kind. But we’re not talking about giving a history lecture to travelers or being a TV news program. It’s about breaking the bubble of the tourist service full of beauty and perfection and replacing it with reality without embellishing filters. Thus, we need to set the table with authentic and meaningful activities, so travelers can understand destinations and feel them as their own.
Just picture how you would feel meeting the owner of a famous but humble, local restaurant. We’re not talking about the fanciest restaurant in town; that could also be possible. We’re talking about that one that fills local peoples’ hearts with traditions, stories, and remembrance. In one way, we can give a voice to someone who deserves it (restaurant owner). On the other hand, we’re offering an authentic cultural immersion to travelers.
Maybe a humble restaurant, shop, or street market can be the gem of the trip that travelers will remember forever. That’s what simple things well-done means, and the importance of guides’ expertise in our journey’s development.
To sum up, the bling is part of a luxury travel experience, yet it’s not enough. We need to understand what people look for nowadays: authenticity, meaningfulness, and connection with nature and others. To do so, we need to stop relying only on natural wonders’ uniqueness. We must offer off-the-beaten-track destinations tailored as a bespoke journey. The aim should be to showcase real lifestyle and simplicity on local destinations. Yet, always offering enough free time and slow-paced journeys to help travelers to digest the experiences. Finally, the main goal is to let trips connect with a purpose in life.