With so much uncertainty, it’s still hard to imagine what travelling will look like as restrictions begin to lift, but things will be different. Affluent travellers are already demanding trips that offer greater protection of their health, alongside a greater protection of their time; from reducing lengthy hours queuing in airports to securing exclusive use of a highly sought-after hideaway. And, as hotels around the globe start to unbolt their doors, there’s no denying that getting around the world has become more complex. Expert help and guidance, with that all-important human touch, will be a prerequisite to making journeys as seamless as possible in a world where transcending borders is now more intricate.
Bespoke luxury tour operator, Carrier, has been leading the way during COVID-19, delivering flexibility and expertise where required and doing the right thing by clients when it comes to cancellations, amendments and refunds. It’s refreshing to experience the mastery and skill that goes into planning precious leisure time to perfection – it’s the kind of human craftsmanship that has simply faded away in larger ecommerce or call-centre driven businesses. But it’s clear that this diligence and careful attention to detail is significant when it comes to your care and future trips.
Here, Carrier reveals their predictions for the luxury sector and how you could travel better…
“The good news is that the challenges of profound disruption and uncertainty also presents an opportunity to re-think how we travel. To reimagine how we can experience the joy holidays bring, even as it fluctuates, and even if it remains volatile. And as we re-join the world, it may be with a more compassionate approach; making personal shifts to travel better, to visit those destinations and communities that need tourism most, to better connect with a destination in meaningful ways, to go on greater adventures with those we have missed most and to embark on experiences that have a more fulfilling and positive impact long after we return.”
Mark Duguid, Managing Director at Carrier
Humans will become the new luxury
This pandemic has exposed the real value of booking with reputable tour operators and people who share the kind of emotional intelligence needed during uncertain times. Discerning travellers will look beyond price, they will value these services to a greater extent and will seek out those who have built trust and service excellence amid the crisis. There is a desire to engage with people and brands that humanise the booking and travelling process, requiring empathy, honesty, flexibility and generosity – behaviours that are extremely difficult to emulate through technology. Gone are the risky purchases. Buyers have become more cautious and they will only trust their holiday budgets with those who have a proven track record.
As the world of travel becomes increasingly complex, it’s likely people will need more expert help and guidance than ever before. Whether the journey is easy, seamless and you feel well taken care of will come down to the expertise and knowledge of who you book with, whether they have the right contacts and connections and above all a customer-centric culture to guide you through a changed world.
An increased recognition for the convenience and protection of private aviation
There are new concerns about wasted time in airports, safe distancing, avoiding crowds and cleanliness, and as a result an increase in demand for private travel. Taking journeys by private jet not only reduces the number of touch points in an airport, it offers more flexibility with a boutique service, getting you where you need to be in absolute comfort, complete privacy and considerable style. You can fly from smaller, local airports; you are not required to enter main terminals or arrive hours before your flight. These are escapes that take you from door-to-door, with the freedom to set your own agenda. If you don’t want to plan around a flight, you can have a flight planned around you.
Even when not travelling by private jet, Carrier are facilitating more exclusive pathways to get clients to where they need to be from security fast-track, private check-in, your own departure lounge and the option to having a security-cleared, personal agent coordinate your movements and whisk you through the airport – eliminating air travel stress, enhancing safety and minimising journey time.
Splendid seclusion and an abundance of natural beauty will be top of wish lists
Having been confined to our homes for so long, many of us are craving a level of escapism that is difficult to find. We’re seeking laid-back luxury that fuses with an abundance of natural beauty; finding a place and pace where you can maximise time outside, where it’s ridiculously easy to escape the digital world and let go of your mental clutter. Being enclosed in the four walls of our homes for months on end has left some wanting to embrace a life outside of our own and to experience a very different environment.
The exclusive Opium Villa on the island of Mustique is one such place, tucked away on a hillside within a natural canopy of lush vegetation, akin to a desert island setting. Not only is there a staff of six who cater to your every need, you can be the only people enjoying a stretch of sand all day long. Even in Santorini where space and privacy are distinctly hard to come by, Carrier have uncovered OMMA Santorini which certainly breaks the mould. Just 30 contemporary volcanic-cave-inspired rooms and suites (each with private terrace and most, a private plunge pool) hidden in plain sight on a less trodden path. And with demand for private islands on the increase, facilitating exclusive use of islets with impressive guest lists isn’t something many companies can pull off.
Whether it’s world renowned resorts such as Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands or lesser-known hideaways like Tagomago Private Island in Ibiza, it requires a great deal of trust, exceptional connections and expertise in ensuring seamless logistics.
Greater adventures with those we’ve missed most
Months of isolation has meant we have not been able to spend quality time with close family and friends. A holiday is often an antidote to reconnect – uninterrupted – with loved ones from all generations. These kinds of holidays are much less about ‘where’ and ‘how’ and far more about ‘why’ and ‘with whom’. It’s about creating wholesome experiences together and can involve grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins too, or groups of friends looking for something special, perhaps for a missed celebration.
Finding the right experience can be an overwhelming task, especially when the organisation of a large trip often falls to one member in the party. Choosing the right holiday can be stressful, time consuming and often comes with concerns around ensuring everyone’s needs will be catered for. So, it’s often a relief when Carrier takes over, as group escapes are our forte – offering complete customisation and ensuring everything is planned to perfection it leaves holiday-makers free of all the research and planning responsibilities. So gather ten of your friends for a house party in Greece, or preserve the sanctity of your family in a 15th century monastery, lovingly restored into a boutique hotel available for exclusive use to those in-the-know.
A move to more meaningful and thoughtful travel
Going on holiday has fast become a far precious commodity to us all. When this luxury returns, time away from home will need to feel really worth it; a simple visit to a new destination or days spent relaxing on a beach may not be enough. Carrier encourages you to want more from your future travels, for them to be thoughtful, meaningful, purposeful and sustainable. Spending time on the right experiences and in the right places will be key. It might be joining a game drive with three of only seven living Master Trackers in the world helping with anti-poaching initiatives, or living like a local with a Grecian family pressing grapes and helping with the olive harvest.
For hands-on impact, dive in headfirst and take part in a diving mission to collect broken pieces of coral and plant them in a nursery where, once they have reached a larger size, they will be returned to the reef to assist in its recovery. Learning something new or putting something back through conservation takes the experience to the next level and provides reflective moments that last long after you return.
Download issue 3 of Carrier, The Paper, to discover thoughtful, smart brands, resorts and people leading the way in sustainable initiatives, alongside hands-on experiences for a positive impact on the places you visit.
Contact our jetlogic team to learn how you can build bespoke itineraries with private charter services. Our jet and helicpoter charters allow you to travel to remote airports and locations that aren't possible on scheduled flights.
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