Our team of travel and lifestyle experts forecast 2019 to be the year of sustainability, wellness and technological innovation.
The increased desire for guests to combine retail and travel will see the lines being blurred between sales and sojourns as guests may purchase the furniture and interior design features that surround them. Beyond by Airbnb, Stay OneDegree and the Oetker Collections Masterpiece Estates offer an alternative for groups by providing carefully selected home rentals to vetted members of their exclusive networks. Co-living leaders such as WeLive, sister company to WeWork, and Roam provide a form of modern commune for working professionals who wish to work on the move. Trendy shared social and work spaces in exotic locations such as Bali will enable people to combine work and travel like never before.
Wellness is becoming the forefront of travel with the increasing importance of recharging the bodyand nourishing the mind with rejuvenating activities and healthy food. 2019 is about encouraging disconnection and reconnection with the natural world, to a place without any digital distraction. Internationally acclaimed Biodynamic psychologist Fiona Arrigo is launching a new retreat, Wild Woman by Arrigo, from May 2019. The four-day retreat will take women on a journey into nature. Women will discover a true sense of being and revert back to a simpler nature and belonging to the wilder world. The retreats will evoke the memory of how we lived as communities with a direct connection to nature. Guests will leave the Wild Woman by Arrigo retreat with an inner reset and sense of personal empowerment, through increased trust and intimacy with life, self-acceptance and deep rest.
Technological innovations makes travelling easier and offers practical solutions to exploring the globe. Smartphone integration enables travellers to breeze through airports, as well as book hotels and flights on the go. Digital tour guides allow travellers to immerse themselves in destinations and the use of AI will provide personalised travel suggestions based on past experiences. More travel companies are developing their own app technology to manage client travel ahead of and during departure, such as Natural World Safaris, which stores client itineraries, downloadable maps and useful documentation for easy access.
Withdrawing money overseas can be perilous due to ever-changing exchange rates. Although most holiday makers will not possess fistfuls of virtual bitcoins, cryptocurrencies do promise a highly secure universal payment system with no associated fees. Thousands of hotels around the world accept Ethereum as legal tender, with many more to follow suit in 2019.
Volunteering programmes add personal fulfilment and purpose to travel, offering the chance to experience a different perspective on life. With increased global interest in social and environmental issues, consumers look to retailers and travel operators to place sustainability at the heart of all their practices to enable a positive global change. Destinations endeavour to increase their sustainable credentials by introducing nose-to-tail cooking to curtail food waste and reducing their carbon footprint to minimise their environmental impact. Hotel Schweizerhof Bern, Switzerland has introduced a number of sustainable initiatives including reducing food waste by using vegetable leftovers to make vegetable salt and designing climate-neutral rooms. The hotel has partnered with My Climate to present guests with an opportunity to offset their CO2 emissions by donating to the organisation’s project in Madagascar. This project supports the manufacture and distribution of efficient cookers, countering the island’s rapid deforestation. London based interior design house, St James Interiors has launched the Ocean Table to support the efforts of the Blue Marine Foundation to place at least 10% of the world's oceans under protection by 2020. A 20% donation from each sale will go to the charity to help support its vital work in creating marine reserves and establishing sustainable models of fishing.
Collaborations will continue to be instrumental in creating unique and interesting propositions for consumers always seeking the new and the inspiring. Partnerships can drive trends and will strengthen brand positioning. Exciting campaigns from Gucci X Chateau Marmont, Supreme X Louis Vuitton fuels demand with Dovetail creating collaborations with a Vittaveli perfume for Jumeirah Vittaveli X Connock London and the Heidi Klein swimwear boutique in resort. Events designed to reach new audiences, include Jack Barclay Bentley X rare perfumery house Elegantes London, The Chatwal New York X Harrods, Natural World Safaris X WildAid.
According to research by Walpole, the official sector body for U.K. luxury and partner of The Dovetail Agency, underlying the above this year is the pursuit of amazing experiences. This may be an incredible bespoke journey or something humbler such as eating the best bread. The human touch will remain important and travellers enjoy the ability to meet likeminded individuals through these experiences across travel and lifestyle.
Jayne Alexander & The Dovetail Team
Image courtesy of Niquesa Travel