With the appetite for travel back on the menu after a turbulent couple of years, join us as we delve into the forecasted travel trends for 2022.
In 2021, the global wellness market was valued at over $4.75 trillion so it’s no surprise that we’ve seen health becoming an increasingly important pillar considered by the modern-day traveller. Pre-pandemic, the wellness tourism market grew from $563bn in 2015 to $639bn in 2017 – twice as fast as tourism growth overall. From the rise in psychedelic retreats, to the 83% surge in google searches for ‘gut health’, it is evident that health tourism is set to be a key trend for 2022. Embracing this trend and new for this year, guests of the much-loved Marbella Club are invited to create their very own bespoke wellness retreats, designed to tackle a range of health issues including exhaustion, stress and burnout; gut and liver health; nutrition for inner and outer beauty; fitness and weight loss; and ageing gently.
Further afield at Soneva, the launch of Soneva Soul in December 2021 combines thousands of years of ancient healing with modern science and medicine to reconnect mind, body and soul. Soneva’s treatment menu unites traditional wellness philosophies such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbalism and medicinal mushrooms, with cutting-edge treatment methodologies and therapeutic biomodulation, which will include heart rate variability testing, platelet-rich plasma (PRP therapy), nutrient IV therapy, cryotherapy, ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
An emerging focus in achieving optimum health is to create brief doses of positive or “hormetic” stress for the mind and body. In Gstaad, Switzerland, guests of Le Grand Bellevue, are invited to step into the subterranean Le Grand Spa (one of Switzerland’s largest) to discover an array of wellness experiences and treatments centred around challenging the body through such considered hormetic stressors. Positive stressors include vigorous breathing exercises, ice baths or fasting: short, sharp challenges that shake up and reset the body as well as offering beneficial outcomes to the immune system.
The Alpha Influence
Generation Alpha is the generation of children succeeding Gen Z and commonly referred to as the first generation born entirely in the 21st century and 3rd millennium. Born between 2010 – 2025, Generation Alpha is expected to have an increasing amount of pester power over millennial parents. This trend lends itself to parents placing more importance on what their children can learn or skills they may gain from travel, known as ‘Eventures’. Families at São Lourenço do Barrocal can learn about the region’s agricultural heritage through an immersive collection of outdoor activities, wildlife and workshops. The four-night programme takes little ones on an enriching journey with traditional pottery masterclasses, private stargazing with astronomers, organic gardening at the dedicated Children’s vegetable patch, birdwatching with Barrocal’s resident ornithologist, ethnobotanical hiking and fishing at the vast Alqueva Lake with competitive sport fisher Duarte Cebola.
In the wake of post-pandemic travel, we can expect travellers to favour far-flung journeys to alternative destinations following two years of curtailments. For those looking for a pioneering island getaway, Cap Karoso in Indonesia’s pristine southwest Sumba offers immersion in Sumba’s rich heritage and wild topography. Those preferring to stay closer to home might explore the rise in UK’s second cities with GuestHouse, a family-owned hotel brand bringing happy hotels to historic buildings on Britain’s most desirable streets.
Reports suggest that multi-generational travel will have the big draw this year as travellers appreciate the ability to move more freely and spend time celebrating key milestone moments with loved ones. Families looking for a UK coastal hideaway can come together in a three or four-bedroom beach house at the newly opened Three Mile Beach where spacious living areas, sunken cedar hot tubs and barrel saunas await, just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Younger children can let their imaginations run wild with Beaverbrook’s ever-popular Sharky & George Kid’s Club, while older children and adults can put their skills to the test with the resident Bear Grylls Survival Academy. At Badrutt’s Palace, families and friends are invited to reunite in the Swiss Alps’ most luxurious and exclusive hotel suite this winter: the Tower Penthouse Apartment. This three-storey private residence has reopened to Palace guests for the first time in 30 years and boasts four individually decorated bedrooms each with a personal bathroom en-suite, an elegant living room for après-style afternoons, a dining area and fully equipped kitchen perfect for entertaining, celebrating and reconnecting.
As travel evolves with a new sense of meaning, we are seeing a rise in environmental awareness fringed with the rise of ‘eco-anxiety’. But what does this mean for travel? ‘Travel Less, Travel Better’ is a new concept championed by Original Travel, encouraging us to see the wider world and marvel at other cultures, all while flying less and staying longer. Chose one of Resplendent Ceylon’s new journeys through Sri Lanka that promise to immerse travellers in the magic of the verdant island nation as they travel between its three properties, Ceylon Tea Trails, Wild Coast Tented Lodge and Cape Weligama. Alternatively, Mashpi Lodge offers a rare intimate jungle experience that’s spearheading important steps in conservation tourism. Since going carbon neutral, the Mashpi Reserve has doubled in size, expanding from 1,200 HA to 2,500HA with a longer-term aim of protecting a further 15,000HA by 2040. The pioneering monitoring systems across the reserve detect sounds related to illegal deforestation and poaching, while tracking animal movement patterns, monitoring endangered species and even making new species discoveries.
As environmental sustainability moves beyond a commendable factor, to a necessity, the focus in 2022 turns towards hotels establishing far more ambitious eco-projects. Going beyond organic growing practices, bio-dynamic is a term used to describe a holistic, ecological and ethical approach to agriculture that is the most effective organic system for carbon storage to tackle climate change and best for soil restoration. At Reschio, the vegetable gardens and poultry that serve its two restaurants, Ristorante Al Castello and Ristorante Alle Scuderie, are fully biodynamic and synergic. Vegetables are grown as nature intended: mingling with flowers, herbs and fruit bushes, all working together to grow and produce as much as they can.
Looking ahead, 2022 has already seen a succession of travel brands accepting cryptocurrency. Reportedly, in the US, the number of digital nomads taking their ‘traditional jobs’ on the road reached 10.2 million in 2021, a 42% increase from 2020. As remote work becomes the new normal, physical location becomes less and less apparent leading us to the next level of an emerging virtual society. With 16% of digital nomads owning crypto assets, now is the time hotels need to adapt to accept this digital currency as the metaverse continues to gain momentum.