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Travel & WellnessFeature

Tourism does not give up

In order to adapt, the tourism sector is now focusing on new formulas. Long stays at unbeatable prices and new isolated destinations for maximum safety.

Bettina Bush Mignanego

By Bettina Bush Mignanego12 février 2021

For 30,000 dollars, you can spend a year in the Maldives. The couple's package called "Unlimited Stays in Paradise" from the Anantara Veli Maldives Resort offers this (Anantara Veli Maldives)

70%

The fall in international travel in 2020

900 M

Fewer tourists between Jan. and Oct. 2020

USD 935 Bn

The loss of revenue between Jan-Oct. 2020

If the sector is struggling to stay afloat, the facts speak for themselves. Let's start with the figures. According to data from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), there were 900 million fewer tourists between January and October 2020, compared with 2019, with a loss of 935 billion dollars in revenue. The sector is facing its worst crisis, more than ten times the loss in 2009 caused by the other major global recession. International travel has fallen by 70 to 75 per cent, bringing the industry back to the levels of 30 years ago. The WTO says that recovery will not occur until the third quarter of 2021. But if the health crisis were to continue, to consider a recovery, we would have to wait until 2022. Many believe that it will be stimulated above all by luxury travel, primarily favoured by Millennials and travellers with above-average incomes, these categories showing a predisposition to travel even in risky conditions.

Finding the hidden paradise

While waiting for the new normality, the new trends of those who do not want to give up travelling are being defined. According to the ILMT (International Luxury Travel Market) portal, new aspects are emerging. Preference is being given to lesser-known destinations, still remote hideaways of the planet, far from the masses, in the middle of nature, to ensure a safer journey. There will undoubtedly be a lot of attention paid to the sustainability of the destination and, last but not least, to the possibility of living unique experiences.

The islands of the Republic of Palau are located in Micronesia. A pioneer in the preservation of the ocean seabed, this small country of Micronesia has made its waters a sanctuary (Shutterstock).

This quest for the uniqueness is a central theme that reveals the Millennials' desire to explore and interact with the world without filters, driven by a sense of freedom and flexibility. It is for these reasons that the phenomenon of a new creative tourism is taking shape, as also stated by Caroline Couret, founder of Creative Tourisme Network, who favours tailor-made choices for personal experiences according to each person's interests, personality and lifestyle. In short, the number of independent travellers is increasing considerably among the Millennials, who prefer authentic destinations to popular and well-known ones, in order to get to know and, above all, understand the culture of a place.

Very long stays

As for the wealthiest, according to the ILTM, the industry will have to wait a little longer, as they will maintain a cautious attitude in the coming months, preferring unique stays of several months or even a year, to be enjoyed with the family, in safe places such as on a yacht, or on a remote island, rather than the short trips of the past.

One of the rooms at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort (Anantara Veli Maldives)

This choice is reinforced by the combination of work and leisure that it affords, often at outstanding prices. Some examples? For $30,000, you can spend a year in the Maldives, with a five-star service for the price of a B&B, with the couple's package called "Unlimited Stays in Paradise" from the Anantatara Veli Maldives Resort, with of course free wifi on the beach. In Thailand, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit has organised the "One Million Bath Club", where a family with two children can stay for a year in a large suite for one million Bath, or 27,000 euros.

As for extreme destinations, there is no shortage of new proposals. The six-star Discovery Yacht called "Scenic Eclipse", from the company Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, which has 114 suites, all with a veranda, two helicopters and a submarine capable of reaching 300 metres in depth, will leave for the most remote places on the planet, departing from Buenos Aires for Antarctica, at a cost of around 10,000 pounds per person, for 16 days.

One of the most prized destinations, the Antarctic Peninsula (Shutterstock)

Even the British cruise company Swan Hellenic organises expeditions to Antarctica. The first will leave in November 2021 on the ship Minerva to see the Antarctic polar eclipse. And to keep you waiting, a video already offers you a virtual experience of the emotions of this exceptional cultural expedition, in a 5-star environment.

The sauna lounge of the Minerva ship of the Swann Hellenic company (DR)

And for truly faraway destinations, the first space travelers are expected in 2021, aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, designed by visionary Elon Musk, for a ten-day odyssey, for only four super-rich passengers, who will have to fork out 55 million dollars for their ticket. Nothing is impossible. Not even to dream.

Spaceship Crew Dragon, designed by the visionary Elon Musk (Shutterstock)

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