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Industry Insight

The Next Frontier in Travel

Authenticity, responsibility and personal growth. For these leaders of the luxury travel space, it is not enough for experiences to be extraordinary. They must have real meaning.


Hybrid Airships


Hybrid airships. We need to travel smarter and more sustainably. Lighter-than-air technology makes this possible due to its inherent energy efficiency, range, and non-dependency of infrastructure. They are also beautiful. Hybrid airships feature similar comfort and range as superyachts, however, they can fly to inland destinations as well, at four times the speed of a yacht with absolutely no need for ports or airports. This opens up an infinite amount of opportunities. Hybrid airships will change the face of luxury travel, but their impact will ultimately go beyond travel, it will be an alternative for all sectors in mobility and transport.

Airlander airship


Brand Diversification


As a result of shifting priorities, travel is even more important than ever, but it has taken on a new face and will continue to evolve. Brands in travel and beyond are becoming more than just services or products; they are living entities that embody a certain lifestyle. You have high end brands like Armani and Ralph Lauren becoming more than just fashion houses, enticing urban travellers with restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Established hospitality brands are also diversifying their offerings. Aman Resorts and Ritz Carlton, for example, have yachts; hotels can arrange private experiences, like one-on-one tours that get under the surface of a destination with local guides. The experience now needs to come first, but a lot of brands still need to learn what the experience means for them.

Ritz Carlton yacht collection


Creating Connections


More important than the destination is the growing trend for meaningful journeys that deliver an experience. Travellers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that they have on the destinations they visit and want to leave them untouched or even improved, by supporting local communities and choosing experiences that are mindful of the environment. They are also looking for experiences that leave them and their perceptions altered in some way, where they can make real bonds. There has been a shift from passive observation to participation with a sense of purpose, ideally contributing to personal growth. ‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences have become about creating connections; whether this is with the natural world, coming face to face with gorillas in the mountains of Rwanda, or with the local community and culture, while praying alongside crimson-clad monks at a monastery in Bhutan.

Bush dinner in Phinda


Spiritual Wellbeing


The next physical frontier is probably space. But here on Earth, there will be an emergence of spiritual and emotional wellness pursuits in travel. In this overly-connected world, we are all craving to live fully in the now; we want heartfelt connections that bring moments of joy, as well as discovery that is unique, contextual, personal and in sync with the environmental. At the Alila Ventana, we have created unique experiences, such as photography hikes and neuroacoustic meditations, that harness the beauty and power of the Big Sur to help you develop a deeper connection to yourself, your partner and the natural world. Think of space – both physical and spiritual – as well as time as a new form of luxury.

Alila resort Big Sur


Authentic Discovery


It’s about discovery, it’s about philanthropy, it’s about education. To me, the future is non-brand and it is independent. The words ‘authentic’ and ‘experiential’ are overused, but the inherent significance of these words is what affluent travellers are looking for and will continue to look for. They want to push the boundaries and really discover the world, with a sense of education and spirit. They want to see extraordinary things, they want to learn, they want to meet wonderful people. It is easy to only scratch the surface when you travel, but true authenticity has depth, and true authenticity is a luxury. It comes from honesty and responsibility – to the land and to the people. Exotic places – like Nihi’s Sumba island, here in Indonesia – allow people to feel new emotions, giving them a sense that they are pioneers of a new realm. Sumba is one of the most unknown places on earth and our guests come here and uncover its inherent adventure through experiences that they can’t have anywhere else.

Sumba Weihola tribe

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