As global travel restrictions continue across the world, the prospect of a holiday still seems very far away. However, according to research, cabin fever can be cured by looking ahead and planning a future trip – here are a few of Scott Dunn’s dreamworthy destinations to inspire wanderlust for your next vacation!
Destinations that offer wide-open spaces, nature and off-grid adventures are poised to be popular amongst travellers when travel resumes. Bespoke travel operator, Scott Dunn offers a hassle-free vacation for guests with every detail is looked after by their expert Travel Consultants – from flights to visas and packing lists! Travellers can look forward to journeying to a range of inspiring destinations with Scott Dunn’s exclusive itineraries that offer unforgettable encounters such as witnessing the magnificent Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, getting up-close-and-personal with Canada’s diverse wildlife and trekking through Chile’s breathtaking landscapes. Prepare to be inspired!
Discover Africa’s magnificent wildlife: Scott Dunn’s Tanzania and Rwanda in Ultimate Luxury itinerary combines two bucket list wildlife experiences, the great migration of wildebeest in the Serengeti and trekking to see the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Guests will enjoy stays at Singita Faru Faru Lodge in Tanzania and Singita Kwitonda Lodge, which opened last August on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Scott Dunn advise that travellers should leave plenty of time to plan this trip and book at least 1 year in advance as the annual migration crosses the Serengeti in the summer months and there are only a finite amount of annual trekking permits through Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park.
Encounter Canada’s Bears and Whales: Scott Dunn’s Whales and Bears of British Colombia itinerary takes visitors off-the-beaten-track to spot some of Canada’s diverse wildlife including black bears, sea lions, migrating whales and grizzly bears. Another itinerary that is best booked a year in advance as this trip includes staying at small, boutique hotels with limited rooms – don’t miss out on your opportunity to witness these incredible animals!
Delve into Israel’s Past: Steeped in history, Israel is a melting pot of history, culture and religion. Scott Dunn’s A Week in Israel allows guests to journey to Israel’s key sites including Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee and the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv. Guests will enjoy exclusive activities including a cable car ride to the impressive Masada Fortress, where travellers will marvel at the breathtaking views across Israel’s desert landscape and the mesmerising Dead Sea.
For more travel inspiration on destinations to visit post-pandemic, visit our blog here!
We’re all raring to book the next flight out of here for that holiday we’ve been dreaming of, however there is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has turned the world of travel on its head. Travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and extreme sanitisation protocols are in abundance. Few countries have been spared from the detrimental impact of Covid-19, and even when its effects begin to wear off, we can only expect a new normal to surface in the way we travel, and with it new changes to adapt to.
What will travel look like in a post-pandemic world? The V&VPR team spoke to industry experts, and gathered top travel trends to look out for:
The Creation of Travel Bubbles to Boost Regional Tourism
As there is little clarity as to when a vaccine for the virus will be produced, several countries have begun to look into ‘travel bubbles’ to promote regional tourism. “The general consensus is the local market will recover first, as we’ve seen in China, then regional travel, then international,” says Raini Hamdi, Editor-at-Large of Skift, the global travel industry intelligence platform.
Australia and New Zealand have already begun discussing plans for a ‘Trans-Tasman bubble’ between both countries, and an article by The Guardian noted that this travel bubble could come into effect as soon as September 2020. What does this mean for the average traveller? Well, the good news is that we might be jetting out of here sooner than we might expect, but epic across-the-globe holiday plans might have to be put on hold for now.
Meaningful and Down-To-Earth Experiences Will Be Greatly Sought After
The pandemic has certainly shifted our priorities in many ways. While most placed emphasis on activities and experiences promoting self-fulfilment and self-actualisation in the past, many are now realising the value of time spent with family and loved ones, having meaningful experiences and moving through the world with purpose.
“We’ve already noticed a change in the consumption of content (digitally) where fans are actively seeking inspirational content, and we believe that the value of luxury in the future will focus on a far simpler way of life,” notes Lindy Rousseau, the CMO of Singita – the conservation and ecotourism brand that has been preserving African wilderness for the past 26 years. “We believe that when travel returns to normal, tourism will rebound quickly, especially to places such as Singita, where guests can immerse themselves in nature and connect with each other, appreciating the simpler things in life – travel, family and peaceful solace in nature.”
Travel Journalist Grace Ma echoes similar sentiments. “Such difficulties would make us cherish cleaner air, greener spaces and clearer seas at our destinations even more,” she remarks. “Because the journey takes so much effort, we’d pick imbibing the spirit of the destination over being superficially impressed by ostentatious displays of luxury.”
There Will Be a Demand for Wellness & Health-conscious Travel
Taking a proactive approach to health has jumped up on the list of priorities. Pre-Covid-19, wellness tourism was already booming, with the Global Wellness Institute reporting in 2018 that it is now a $639 billion industry out of the overall $4.5 trillion wellness market. With no vaccine available yet, wellness tourism is poised to grow even more as travellers place emphasis on making choices that benefit physical and mental wellbeing – and the travel and hospitality industry will have to continue to evolve to meet the demands. Does this mean more balanced and nutritious hotel and restaurant menus? Hiking excursions in the great outdoors? Yoga and other forms of meditation to clear the mind and soothe the soul? Absolutely.
“People are taking a much more proactive approach to wellbeing – far more preventative rather than treating the issue,” observes Lynda Williams, Founder & Managing Director of VIM & VIGOUR PR. “Boosting the immune system isn’t just about diet and vitamin C tablets, but a balanced lifestyle which includes better sleep, less stress and the right exercise. Wellness resorts can offer all of this in a transformative way but the best ones, also equip guests with the right tools to carry on their new habits way after check-out.”
High Standards of Hygiene & Safety Will Be An Expectation
As the luxury travel and hospitality industry prepares for reopening, it will be an expectation that health and hygiene measures are taken seriously in order to establish trust between guest and organization. Such measures are already being communicated through various communication channels and will become the norm for the foreseeable future.
“Privacy and sanitization throughout the consumer journey as well as contactless service (where possible) will be a key focus,” says Mike Harlow, the General Manager of Scott Dunn Singapore. “Destinations need to assure travellers that they are open for business and are upkeeping high standards for safety and health with well-equipped and functioning medical facilities, essentially abating fears and reinforcing that it is safe to come explore.”
Dean Winters, Managing Director of Swire Hotels whose properties predominately span across Greater China comments: “We are prepared to be welcoming back our guests and our top priority will centre around providing a safe and comfortable environment while delivering uplifting experiences,” he says. “We believe this is of utmost importance, as travellers will place an emphasis on safety and cleanliness more now than ever before.”
Anticipate a Rise in Sustainable Travel & Ecotourism
Conscious travel will be on the rise as tourism recovers. In recent years, travellers have already begun to take notice of the impact that their jet setting habits can have on the environment – but now coupled with the visible positive benefits the lockdown has had on pollution levels, clearer seas, flora and fauna, it is hoped that consumers will travel responsibly and think carefully of how they want to move through the world.
“Luxury travellers will be more discerning about the places they go and accommodations they stay in. They would gravitate towards those that are thoughtfully local – made with materials from the locality, reflective of local culture, and supportive of the immediate community, ” says Grace Ma.
Check out the rest of our blog here for the latest updates on travel and wellness.
With all of us practicing social distancing and staying at home, livestream videos have become part of our everyday life. Companies and brands are now offering armchair travellers a virtual travel experience to some of the world’s most far-flung places. Here are V&VPR’s top picks to make isolation more thrilling:
Journey into the wilderness with Singita
Singita brings the stories of Africa to your home. Wildlife enthusiasts can either enjoy the calming sounds of Singita and listen to Africa’s enchanting bird song, or journey into the bush for a virtual game drive – allowing guests to get up close with some of Africa’s incredible wildlife. Curating the ultimate safari experience, Singita’s lodges are placed in 6 different regions of Africa and each lodge employs the very best guides and trackers to teach guests about the African wilderness and it’s magnificent inhabitants. Accompanied by Field Guides Ross Couper and Johan Ndlovu,
viewers can enjoy an African safari in either Sabi Sand and Grumeti Reserve, whilst sitting on their sofa, Singita’s virtual game drives are available for everyone to enjoy. Visit Singita’s Vimeo channel here and see what you find!
Witness the animals at Australian Reptile Park
The wildlife sanctuary on the Central Coast of New South Wales closed their doors back in March. However, keepers are still hard at work feeding and looking after all the animals. This award-winning wildlife park is making educational videos for school kids to assist parents who are now homeschooling their children. Named ‘Animal Tales With Tim Faulkner’ the live-streaming videos are of zookeepers showcasing their favourite animals and answering viewer questions. This includes feeding Elvis, the MASSIVE Saltwater Crocodile, play time and cuddles with dingoes, feeding cuddly koalas and virtual tours of different areas within the Park. Staff at the wildlife sanctuary are extremely excited to bring their animals into everyone’s sitting rooms. Live streams are available on the Australian Reptile Park’s Facebook, Instagram and TikTok pages.
Hike the most iconic rock climb in the world
Yosemite, located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, is a diverse, natural landscape. Home to more than 400 species of animals, including the magnificent American black bear, rare snowshoe hares and endangered bats. The park’s iconic, El Capitan, stands over 900 metres tall, with a vertical cliff face. From the comfort of your sofa, you can now Scale the mountain with top climber Lynn Hill and her team. The experience promises to teach more climbing skills, techniques and the necessary equipment needed to ascend this incredible height. Explore the park with these 360-degree images, accompanied with sound effects from the Ahwahnee Meadow and Nevada Fall.
Wonder at the Northern Lights
Renowned for its magnificent beauty, the aurora borealis is a dazzling natural phenomenon. The northern lights are visible from countries at northern latitudes, including Scandinavia, Russia, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. Lights over Lapland takes travellers on a journey through a series of stunning 360-degree videos, starting at the famous Icehotel before venturing into the wilderness on a reindeer sleigh past sights such as Lake Torneträsk and an Arctic birch forest. Explorers will wonder at a series of time-lapse videos, showing the lights dancing overhead with vibrant colours and impressive arcs of deep green.
Escape with these virtual travel experiences, or Check out the rest of our page here for more travel inspiration!
We can’t physically run wild right now, but that doesn’t mean our imaginations can’t. To help ward off cabin fever and help you kickstart the planning for the wondrous trip you’ll be desperate to take when the world recovers, we’ve rounded up some of the places we’d love to travel to right now…
Go on a history and culture-rich hike across Tajikistan
The Walk Tajikistan itinerary with Scott Dunn showcases breath-taking landscapes with an insight into the country’s colourful history and culture. This itinerary is crafted for the discerning traveller – hiking across the remote mountain system of the Fann Mountains, renowned for its phenomenal panoramas and stunning azure alpine lakes. Visit two of the less famous Silk Road destinations, including one of Asia’s oldest cities, Khujand, and venture to Iskanderkul, nicknamed the ‘jewel in Tajikistan’s crown’, home to the Iskanderkul Lake with ethereal blue and green waters and a magnificent waterfall.
Encounter gentle gorillas on a trek through Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park
For a truly immersive experience in the Rwandan wilderness, we recommend a stay at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Set on 178 acres at the edge of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, the lodge was named after a legendary silverback gorilla, known for his humility and gentle nature. This is where you’ll be able to take part in life-changing gorilla treks for a humbling, soul-centring experience of encountering gorilla families in their natural habitats. Surrounded by greenery, the lodge also has on-site nursery which has provided approximately 250,000 indigenous forest shrubs, bamboo shoots and trees for Singita’s extensive reforestation initiative to increase the range and numbers of the endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
Spend a weekend on an island paradise in Indonesia
The exquisite island of Sumba is an hour’s flight from Bali – a bucolic haven far removed from tourist hotspots. From plunging waterfalls to pristine beaches with world-class surf spots, this amazing destination is replete with plenty of #InstaWorthy sights and activities for your travel bucket list. If you’re looking for the ultimate island getaway experience, Nihi Sumba Resort is your dream accommodation. Placed first in Top 10 Hotels for Travel + Leisure’s 2016 World’s Best Awards, the property boasts a selection of off-script experiences that are hard to beat – including swimming with horses, surf lessons at Coconut Cove and watching turtle hatchlings released into the ocean.
Explore the best of Australia’s nature in the Blue Mountains, NSW
Just a 3-hour drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is known for its dramatic scenery, cascading falls, lush valleys and greenery – a true paradise for ecophiliacs yearning for fresh air and open spaces. The Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort is a luxurious eco-retreat that will sweep you off your feet if you’re looking to stay and explore the area. Ensconced in 4,000 acres of natural wonder, go for a horse-riding session through winding trails and native eucalypt woodlands, or take part in an authentic ‘walkabout’ in one of Australia’s untouched stretches of natural, protected bushland. Unwind at the end of a long day in your own private plunge pool – we won’t tell if you decide to go for a skinny-dip!
Immerse in a unique modern safari experience in Tanzania
For the true adventure seekers, it doesn’t get any wilder than this – located on a dramatic riverbend in the remote Lamai triangle in Tanzania, Mara River Tented Camp is a permanent camp with a modern take on the classic East African safari. Set on 98,000 acres of untouched wilderness in northern Tanzania, guests will have access to some of the world’s most prized and private game-viewing opportunities, including breath-taking views of the renowned migratory route traversed annually by more than a million wildebeest. Get involved in game drives, guided bush walks and stargazing in the evening under the African night sky.
Check out the rest of our page here for more travel inspiration.
With travel restrictions in place, cabin fever setting in, and stress and anxiety levels rising, keeping wellness a priority has become more important than ever. Take a mental vacation to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations –– visualising a stress-free place is a simple way to help your whole body calm down and give you the boost you need for the day.
We’ve put together a series of stunning visuals featuring rolling landscapes, ethereal views and remarkable sights that will be just the pick-me-up for you.
Golden rays of sunlight lighting up the sand and sea at Zenith Beach in Port Stephens, NSW.
Plumes of steam rising from chimneys across a coastal town along the Oita Hot Spring Trail with Walk Japan.
A leopard taking a well-deserved rest up on a tree at Singita Boulders Lodge, Singita’s privately-owned reserve within Sabi Sand in South Africa.
Check out the rest of our page here for more mental vacation travel inspiration.
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation and the recent travel restrictions enforced, many of us are looking to support Singapore-based hotels for a staycation, or two! Here are V&VPR’s favourite staycation packages:
Located in Singapore’s bustling Chinatown, Six Senses Maxwell is set in a block of heritage shophouses and boasts a state-of-the-art spa, gym and a rooftop pool. The Weekend Great Escape offer includes daily breakfast, 30% off a-la-carte menu items and 30% off select treatments at Spa Pods.
The boutique riverfront hotel is situated on buzzy Robertson Quay and offers guests the perfect staycation. The Weekend Special Offer includes complementary use of Tokyo Bike’s for guests to discover the sophisticated neighbourhood and enjoy the vibrant dining and lifestyle offerings on the hotel’s doorstep. Guests will also enjoy breakfast at Marcello, full access to the gym and lap-pool and late check out on Sunday – to enjoy an afternoon stroll along the river.
Located on Sentosa, Capella is the ideal sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s city life. The property resides on 30 acres of lush rainforest and is a serene destination to relax and rejuvenate. The new Sentosa Golf Getaway allows guests to enjoy a round of golf at the award-winning Sentosa Golf Club, voted the “World’s Best Golf Club”, before retreating to the privacy and luxury of Capella Singapore. Specifically tailored for couples, the Perfect Time for Two package allows guests to pamper themselves with a rejuvenating spa retreat at the property’s award-winning Auriga Spa. The getaway is complemented with delicious breakfast at The Knolls, and cocktails at Bob’s Bar with stunning views of the South-China Sea.
Singapore’s most famous landmark, and for many a bucket-list hotel with its picturesque infinity swimming pool, Marina Bay Sands is offering an exquisite staycation package. The bundle includes a complimentary room upgrade, early check in, breakfast at RISE restaurant, Spago Bar & Lounge, Adrift or in-room dining, access to the famous swimming pool and 1-for-1 cocktails at Adrift. This offer is also inclusive of free cancellation – allowing guests to book with confidence.
The world of luxury is changing and wealthy consumers are becoming active participants to save our world from extinction. As a result, luxury travel brands are changing with the times to become more sustainable. Protecting the environment is paramount in high-end experiential travel and MATTER’s 2019 report promotes how travel brands can adapt to survive and remain connected with their consumers through three main trends:
Consumers seek self-fulfilment through the new sustainable luxury
There is a growing demand of luxury sustainable travel due to a developing demographic of socially conscious, high-net-worth consumers who are increasingly rejecting overt displays of wealth in favour of inconspicuous and responsible consumption. These elite customers value green, inconspicuous luxury and are driven by self-fulfilment and personalised experiences. And so, luxury travel and hospitality is being redefined to incorporate artisanship, authenticity and sustainability, as well as ethical living. Experience and transformation have become the new currency for these next-gen jetsetters, who seek self-fulfilment through green travel, while ‘doing good’ for people and the planet.
Future consumers will invest more in sustainable luxury travel
High-net-worth wealth is transferring into younger hands at a fast rate. According to the study, 72% of Millennials and Gen Zs would pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to social and environmental change. Therefore, these consumers are more willing to invest in sustainable luxury travel and value green brands more than their predecessors. The young elite are reshaping philanthropy by seeking more ways to give back, and the travel industry is supporting their mission through new initiatives from one-off donations to long-term initiatives and volunteering.
Successful luxury travel brands will make sustainability part of the guest experience
Innovators in luxury hospitality are stepping up to environmental and social challenges, by putting sustainability at the centre of their business model and guest experience. From addressing the rise in veganism to rethinking waste, luxury hotels and resorts are honing their offer to attract future guests. Eco-tourism and conservation brand Singita allows guests to take part in sustainable and community initiatives when on safari, guests can leave a legacy from holidaying with Singita and contribute to their 100 year purpose to preserve and protect the African wilderness for future generations.
To download the report in full, please visit MATTER’s website.
As with any international city, London is awash with traditional tourist sites, from crowded cosy pubs to its famous landmark buildings and vast museums. If you’re planning a trip across the pond to London anytime soon, here are some of V&VPR’s favourite cultural attractions to add to your itinerary.
Whether you’re looking for art or architecture, a visit to London is not complete without an excursion to ‘the world’s leading and largest museum of art and design’ – the infamous Victoria & Albert Museum. The museum has over 2.27 million objects on permanent exhibition; from furniture, fashion and jewellery to ceramics, theatre, sculpture and paintings, you’ll be agog at the treasures within.
Kensington Palace sits parallel to Hyde Park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. As a place of residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th Century, it is a treasure trove of royal paintings, items, wardrobes and interiors. The Orangery, situated in the grounds of the palace, is the ideal location for a cup of tea after exploring the exhibitions.
The Tower of London & Tower Bridge
The Tower of London is at the heart of much of Britain’s history, William the Conqueror built this London fortress in the 1070s and now, nearly 1000 years on, the Tower still fascinates and horrifies residents and tourists alike with its rich and complex history. Home to the Crown Jewels, recognisable Yeoman Warder’s and the pampered ravens, the Tower of London is a must-see when in the capital. From the Tower, visitors can also see what is arguably the most famous bridge in the world.
The world’s largest antiques market, Portobello Road Market in West London features over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible you could ever imagine. Whether it be from tiny trinkets to one-of-a-kind antique furnishings, Portobello Road Market has something for everyone.
Mr & Mrs Smith latest report Modern Love details a shift from the outdated concept of a romantic trip with champagne, chocolate, rose petals and couples’ massages and onto a rousing notion of romantic travel – becoming more innovative, more exciting and more sensual with new experiences, surprise and plenty of wonder.
- In this new era of dismantled norms, changing perceptions, political melodrama and planetary peri, the senior team at Mr & Mrs Smith have worked with future strategic consultancy firm The Future Laboratory to determine the changing norms of romantic travel. From destination spas, back-to-nature rooms and psychoactive pleasure pursuits to peakends, self-romantic getaways and workcations, the tenets of the romantic trip will have definitively changed and expanded within the next decade: The hospitality industry will embrace a younger generation of couples, singles and polycules who seek meaning, pleasure and purpose through their travels.
- Hotels will become more conscious, with adaptable luxury personalised to their own unique concepts of romance to introduce moments of wonder, connection and intimacy into traveller’s lives.
- Although some guests will still indulge in the classic notions of romantic travel with candle-lit dinners and jacuzzis, the majority of travellers will look to reinforce their bonds by strengthening the communities in the neighbourhoods they visit to leave a positive impact on the destinations in which they go to.
- Single travellers will be open to serendipitous situationships when they travel. And as the working world becomes inherently more flexible, mid- weekers, peakends and workcations will become the go-to model for couples’ rest and recuperation.
- Within a decade, there will be plenty of new ways to indulge and rekindle romantic partnerships. Brands will embrace the cultural and social shifts that will represent this era of new romanticism, transforming romantic travel from something standard to a passionate, rekindling exploration from which, once experienced, there will be no going back.
Nowadays, there is an increasing demand for authentic and immersive experiences, and the search for spiritual travel is also growing. This concept allows guests to focus on their inner exploration to examine themselves, and self-reflect.
We’ve outlined a list of our favourite itineraries that will allow active travellers to embark on an eye-opening off-the-beaten-track journey of self-discovery this year.
The Kumano Kodō is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross the Kii Hantō, the largest peninsula of Japan. The routes are registered as UNESCO World Heritage and played an integral part of the pilgrimage process, as pilgrims undertook rigorous religious rites of worship and purification. Walking the sacred Kumano Kodo is a fantastic way to experience the unique cultural landscape of Kumano’s spiritual countryside, offering an immersion into more than a thousand years of Buddhist history.
Committed to maintaining excellence in the craft of hospitality, Capella Hotels & Resorts have launched Capella Curates. The series has been carefully cultivated by the expert team in each locale, to offer exclusive adventures, meeting interesting characters, experiencing whimsical traditions, and the opportunity to hone unexplored skills.
Capella Ubud’s Confined to Quarters is a life-changing Capella Curates experience, whereby couples can escape the humdrum of daily life with 24-hours spent in total solitude within their uniquely styled tent. The day begins with a traditional Balinese blessing ritual and yoga session, enabling guests to reconnect with one another and refocus. After a restful night’s sleep, made possible by the day spent in solitude, guests can take part in a sunrise purification ritual at the property’s Wos River Temple – a profoundly spiritual process designed to leave a lasting feeling of calm and positivity.
Scott Dunn’s itineraries to Bhutan capture the pure energy and spirituality of one of the last true unspoilt countries on earth. As a Himalayan Kingdom of stunning natural beauty, travellers will discover the awe-inspiring sights – from lush-green rice paddies running alongside fast-flowing glacial rivers to the endless forested-mountains and the snow-capped peaks beyond.
Bhutan carefully manages the numbers of tourists to the country in order to preserve its unique culture and traditions, and so a trip to Bhutan ensures a remarkable vacation with a first-hand, intimate look into the secrets of this extraordinary country. A Week in Bhutan introduces the spiritual and cultural highlights, from experiencing the fascinating capital of Thimphu, home to Bhutan’s national animal in the Takin Preserve, to trekking towards Taktsang Goemba or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro. Tailored to travellers who wish to be accompanied, all itineraries in Bhutan are escorted by a driver and specialist guide.