How luxury travel will change for 2021

Thinking ahead

With the ripples of the pandemic likely to continue into 2021, we expect to see fewer flights, with lengthier boarding procedures and limited capacities. Luxury airport lounges have settled into adapted systems with increased hygiene, providing more space between seats, as well as more personal service. According to Skyscanner and Responsible Travel, travellers themselves are looking to fly less — always a more sustainable option — but to stay for longer on trips. They are seeing a higher demand for slow travel, where people are slowing down and visiting just one place, taking their time to get familiar with the destination and its surroundings and culture, rather than paying a fleeting visit.

There’s also been a significant rise in the number of digital nomads. With working from home still the norm for many of us, more people than ever have the option to work from anywhere in the world. This gives them the chance to combine work with time for exploration — an option that many hotels and villas are catering to, with longer stays available as well as improved wi-fi services and workspaces.

Options for breaks in more remote locations such as French Polynesia and the Maldives are on the rise, too, allowing for social distancing and fresh air without taking away a sense of adventure. Private jet bookings have increased and more private island resorts are offering the opportunity for guests to go one step further by renting the entire island, with people opting to travel exclusively in their social bubbles or for more meaningful trips with the people closest

to them.

According to CV Villas and Boo Ibiza, more people are choosing villas over hotels for increased privacy, seclusion and freedom, with a greater number of tour operators and resorts catering to this. Furthermore, hygiene standards have been improved across the industry. Small ship cruising is seeing an increase, with river cruises and yachts in the luxury travel world again catering to the desire for downsizing — Scenic Eclipse has just launched the world’s first discovery yacht, Scenic Eclipse, while the more remote and wild polar regions are popular among UK guests, too.

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