Five New Trends 2017
The Experts' Views: Five New Travel Trends for 2017
As another year ends, we’ll soon be taking stock of the year that’s been and what’s yet to come. Travel, of course, is as important as ever. Here, I speak to some leading travel experts on how we will be seeing the world in 2017
1. The Pared-Back Hotel
A new definition of luxury is on the cards. Gone is old-school opulence – overblown, fussy and formal – and in is a pared-back approach that focuses on pampering and soothing the senses. Contemporary chic these days means less is more. That's not to say, however, that comfort will be skimped on - importantly, what is on offer is of the very best quality. In these new-style properties, for example, surplus furniture in hotel rooms is de-cluttered and simplified, and, instead, the emphasis is on what we really what: a large, über-comfortable bed, intelligent technology and luxe textiles. Bathrooms are spacious and decadent – giving the occupant encouragement for relaxation time and finding headspace. Meanwhile, at the in-house restaurants, chefs have honed and edited their menus and wine lists, ensuring the very best value and choice.
The Mezzanine, Tulum Credit: SLH
Mi Amor Credit: SLH
Illustrating the point perfectly, and putting a new slant on Tulum, is a new clutch of boutique hotels, which are opening their doors in this Mexican destination. The Mezzanine Hotel, El Pez Boutique Hotel, La Zebra Beach Hotel and Mi Amor Boutique Hotel & Spa – are all independent, simplified and stylish. These are the new style of bare-foot luxe hotels, which refer to their locality yet have an eye on the global stage. Take La Zebra Beach Hotel, for example. It is about to collaborate with the world-famous NOMA restaurant from Copenhagen, and will be home to a pop-up dining experience from March-May 2017.
2. Head to a European Island
Private Islands – usually found in far-flung, exotic destinations - had their day in the sun during 2016, but for 2017 the relatively unknown islets dotted around Europe will have a new appeal. Chic travellers in the know will already have Italy’s Pantelleria in their little black books. Found between Sicily and Tunisia, it is beloved by the likes of Giorgio Armani who has a home there. Naxos in Greece, is another gem, and perfect for culinary tourists, with its garden markets and huge choice of home-grown cheeses. Meanwhile, due to open in Corsica in France later this year (in June 2017) is Le Domaine Misincu. It will be the only five-star, environmentally and eco-certified luxury hotel in the region of Cap Corsica, which is nicknamed ‘the island on the island’, and has already been cherry-picked by Small Luxury Hotels of the World to become part of its portfolio of properties.
3. The Edible Resort
Farm-to-table, ocean-to-plate, beehives on roofs, rambling kitchen gardens… the rise of the ‘edible’ resort seems unstoppable. Muriel Muirden, trend forecaster at WATG, one of the world's leading hotel architectural firms, has pinpointed this as key travel trend for 2017.
As well as advising WATG’s global leaders on tourism trends and market opportunities, Muriel conducts research on evolving hospitality products and market dynamics. With 25 years of experience in the tourism industry, she has particular expertise in the fields of development strategy, concept evaluation and business planning for major tourism, hotel and resort real estate enterprises.
‘There is without doubt an increased awareness of the provenance of what we eat,” says John Goldwyn, vice president of Planning and Landscape at WATG. “Our focus increasingly is on creating hotel landscapes that are edible ornamental gardens. We are placing hotels within vineyards, under olive groves and above edible parterres to create enduring, relevant and delicious experiences for hotel guests. Why have a fruit bowl when you can wander onto your balcony and pluck an orange from the tree?"
At the Bellevue Hotel in Cikat, Croatia, the flat roof of the hotel has been transformed into fragrant herb gardens and you can wake up, throw back the curtains and see kitchen staff picking herbs and salad stuffs for use in the restaurant. “These micro-gardens transform redundant and, frankly, ugly roof space into an attractive and edible landscape feature,” adds Muriel.
St Kitts Cottage at Kittitian Hills
Kittitian Hills in St Kitts, is another example. It has created an organic golf course with plant nurseries and arable landscape surrounding the fairways and greens. Goats are used to graze the course. “Working with local partners, resort management harvest and bring the produce to the resort’s restaurants, sell produce at the farmers market within the resort’s village hub and the rest is given away to those in need in the greater community,” explains Muriel. “Such innovations begin to chip away at the image of such resorts as being non-permeable – they encourage community engagement and create a more diverse and interesting environment for both golfers and non-golfers.”
4. Sailing adventures become more affordable
Yachting and sailing have long been out of reach for the average traveller, (and solely the realm of the jet-set few), but thanks to adventure-travel company Intrepid Travel, a new collection of affordable sailing trips will allow the ocean-going form of travel to be in the grasp of many.
The company has just launched a series of new sailing trips offering an affordable way to see far-flung and exclusive destinations in a more authentic manner. The seven night Zanzibar Spice Islands Sailing Adventure, for example, costs just over £1,000 and travels through the Zanzibar archipelago with a dazzling array of coral reefs to snorkel, rainforests to explore and fishing villages to visit. Highlights include a stop for a hike through the Ngezi Rainforest, a visit to a local fishing village for some cultural interaction and a BBQ dinner of freshly caught fish while watching the sun go down.
There is also a new seven night Gili Islands Sailing Adventure for £1,100 per person and a nine day Burma Sailing Experience for £1,470 per person. Tours include transport, most meals and on boat accommodation.
5. Polar travel
J.Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group has recently unveiled its third annual ‘Future 100’ Report, which includes its predictions for future travel trends. Worldwide director of the Innovation Group, and author of the report, Lucie Greene, has cited Polar Travel as one of the main target areas for explorers next year.
“As the planet warms, more travellers are visiting the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth: the Polar Regions,” she says. “Crystal Serenity became the first large-scale cruise liner to traverse the Northwest Passage from Alaska to the Atlantic Ocean in September 2016. And in the remote Norwegian territory of Svalbard, revenue from tourism is outstripping revenue from coal mining, previously the region’s mainstay. As summer ice in the Arctic reaches historic lows, more ships are expected to join. Tourists hope to see the region before climate change alters it forever, even as environmental groups warn that large-scale tourism could spell disaster for the fragile Arctic.”
At the opposite end of the planet, the report details, the White Desert camp in the interior of Antarctica has been fitted with new luxurious amenities, such as “bamboo headboards, Saarinen chairs, fur throws, and en suite bathrooms stocked with sustainable Lost Explorer-brand toiletries,” according to Bloomberg. Guests will be able to sail to the Antarctic aboard the Crystal Endeavor, a new luxury mega-yacht debuting in August 2018.
DEC 23, 2016 @ 11:08 AM