The Future Of Travel, Luxury Travel Experts Speak Out.

 After a time with the entire travel industry on hold and - although slowly restarting - without a concrete horizon of how and when tourism will return to normal, a certainty appears: it will no longer be the same world after this pandemic. The very concept of traveling involves connecting with people and places, going through diverse experiences, seeking inspiration from other world readings, and supporting local economies linked to tourism. The possible approaches, the immersion in the heart of the places, the tour of public spaces until a few months ago will be impacted by new customs. However, the luxury travel industry has taken a huge hit. 

To everything that health issues imply, are added the environmental observations that the pandemic allowed. The already hackneyed images of positive changes in the now crystalline canals of Venice or the total absence of pollution in Milan allow us to recognise two essential themes: there is no longer doubt about the greenhouse effect that human action produces on the one hand, and the ability reversal of these phenomena seems to be faster than imagined. What challenges does all this represent for the future? Infobae spoke with dozens of specialists in the travel industry in all its offer, in order to know their vision of what their world will be like from now on.

"Transmitting confidence and security to the traveler when planning a next trip", that is what represents the greatest challenge for Francisco Vigo, Country Manager of Almundo. The platform has already advanced the idea of ​​creating "safe destinations to travel with peace of mind", a space to bring relevant information.

Travelers are more reticent and careful about their hiring. For this reason, Almundo now assigns an expert who accompanies the client throughout the process through multiple channels (including video calls). 

Hosting without fear

"Today, the world is very different from how we remember it three months ago when The Ritz closed for the first time in the hotel's history," says Umberto Schioppa, sales director of perhaps the world's most legendary hotel, The Ritz de London. Thinking that it did not stop working during the world wars, adds dimension to today's time. Despite this, he sees some green shoots: "For example, how quickly the tech industry has been able to come up with contactless solutions, offering safer alternatives."

When travelers launch out on their first adventures, they will be cautious at first. Brands, such as Marriott and Hilton, have announced new standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Others work on its repositioning. Michael Law, senior director of marketing for Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, believes that “when people return to the city they can look for smaller hotels like ours, where we have an average of 11 rooms per floor. In addition, the quieter areas of the city, such as the Waterfront in Lower Manhattan, the seaport and the neighborhoods of Soho and Tribeca, will be highly sought, as well as open green spaces such as Central Park.

The Four Seasons chain has made an agreement with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Institute in Baltimore, USA. “This alliance is unique on a global level, and they will guide our 117 hotels around the world during the pandemic to strictly follow health and safety standards. We have several hotels in China, Europe and the rest of the world that have already opened and allow us to see their experience to face our challenges here ”, explains Gabriel Oliveri, Marketing Director of Four Seasons Hotel.

Preferred Hotels and Resorts 

From a development perspective, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world's largest hotel network, sees an increase in independent hotel affiliations as part of the recovery. “We have added 26 new members to our global portfolio between January and April of this year,” explains Simone Mariote, vice president of sales for Latin America for the chain. “Now, as restrictions are gradually lowered, our independent member hotels around the world face a different set of challenges as they navigate a new and unfamiliar market. This includes everything from reinventing hotel operating standards, handling significant financial pressures, and managing staff costs and disruptions, down to maintaining rate parity, and investing in smart marketing solutions. This is uncharted territory for the entire industry and will require flexibility and agility to find operational success ”, he says.

Small steps towards a reopened world start with health: in countries with low mortality rates and few active cases. But even for countries with close ties, it's like starting from scratch. Each advance means more risk movement and more work, for governments and for travelers.

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