As the world transitions from a pandemic to an endemic, travellers are gearing up for their new worldwide adventures. This means that communicators have to evolve their messaging based on the significant changes that shake up the travel industry.
Market prediction and insights from industry experts are crucial for public relations practitioners to become proactive drivers of change. This article unpacks the top 3 trends that the travel industry can expect in 2022.
Travellers are at the First Stage of Travel
Travel marketing experts will know that all travellers go through five stages of travel – dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing and sharing. As per Google’s Think Travel Research, most travellers are presently in the dreaming phase, where they yearn for their next holiday.
It is now the best time to reach out to these future travellers through light-hearted, non-hard sell social content which is primarily organic and user-generated. Start a virtual conversation and engage them early; subsequently, re-engage and sell the dream. It is also helpful to monitor and be current with the latest social trends and adapt to a product suite that is best suited to the preferences of the new traveller.
The New Travel Pattern
After a two-year hiatus for many, travellers will make serious plans to go further, and international travel will triumph over domestic travel. In a Google’s Think Report research, 87% of future travellers will take an international trip of more than five days, compared to the 2019 average of 3.8 days per destination. Of which, 78% of travellers will prefer luxury stays and experiences. Luxury travel can be determined by 5 Cs – culture, cuisine, community, content and customisation. These travel plans are likely leisure holidays, celebrating major milestone events and longer planning and booking cycles.
Covid Related Considerations
Living in an endemic does not eliminate certain restrictions imposed by the destinations, and getting fully vaccinated is currently the number one motivator for international travel. The quarantine preference will be a huge differentiating factor.
Travellers will be asking more specific quarantine questions such as the length of quarantine, types of accommodation, size of housing, the additional use of amenities, the option of a balcony for fresh air, in-room entertainment and upgraded meal packages.
Cities take the top spots but the beach and rural destinations rank high in the top ten holiday destinations for 2022.
Travellers worldwide have begun to seek new experiences to mark 2022, the start of hopefully a brighter new year. The top holiday hotspots remain popular cities but in a recent study by Agoda, travellers are also “escaping” into nature with rural and beach destinations climbing up the charts. The one thing that remains unchanged – travellers are still choosing luxury to welcome the New Year.
Top Holiday Hotspots NYE 2021
- Indonesia – Jakarta, Bali, Bandung
- India – Goa, New Delhi, Mumbai
- Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuching
- Philippines – Manila, Boracay Island, Ceby
- South Korea – Seoul, Busan, Jeju Island
- Taiwan – Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung
- Thailand – Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai
- Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh, Sapa, Dalat
Travellers Head to Beach Resorts, Coastal Destinations and Mountainous Terrains
Aside from the popular capital cities in Asia, travellers are venturing into world-class beach resorts in Goa (India), Bali (Indonesia), Cebu (Philippines), Pattaya (Thailand) and Jeju Island (South Korea). The adventurous partygoers are leveraging on the relaxed restrictions to visit Penang, the food capital of Malaysia. Surprising new coastal destinations that made it into the charts include Batam (Indonesia), Andaman and Nicobar Island (India), Kenting (Taiwan). For the scenic lovers, they are travelling to mountainous terrains in Khao Kho (Thailand), Bohol (Philippines) and Ninh Binh (Vietnam).
The Desire for an Extravagant Post-Covid Holiday
Travellers are investing in self-care in the post-pandemic era and opting for lavish options to celebrate New Year’s Eve. According to research from travel booking site Agoda, travellers are opting for 4- and 5-star luxury hotels in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam. In Taiwan and Thailand, it is observed that travellers are upgrading to luxury hotels instead of the traditional option for 1- to 3-star hotels.
After a two-year hiatus, travel is resuming during the New Year’s Eve celebration with domestic travel as the main source of business. Apart from big cities with traditional celebrations, travellers have an ongoing desire to explore the world or seek refuge in natural sanctuaries. The natural appeal of stunning beaches, scenery and the freedom of open space remains wildly alluring. When travellers are finally given the chance to spend on travel, they are splurging with posh and plush options.
With the recent establishment of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme, those of us in Singapore will be able to travel, quarantine-free, to a total of 11 countries – Brunei (closed for leisure travel), Canada, Denmark, France, Germany Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, the United States, and South Korea (from November 15 onwards).
As much as we’re all thrilled to travel overseas again, travelling will not be as easy of a process as it was pre-pandemic. With all the extra regulations implemented to ensure the safety of all travellers, the whole process to travel overseas can get understandably confusing for some. If you intend to travel using the VTL scheme and are in the midst of researching how it works, here’s a comprehensive guide on quarantine-travel to save you all the hassle and stress.
How the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme works
The VTL scheme applies to all those who are considered fully vaccinated, meaning that two weeks must have elapsed since you’ve received the full regimen of any vaccines on the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (which includes Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).
Under the VTL scheme, fully vaccinated Singaporean/PR travellers will no longer need to quarantine at the destination country and upon return to Singapore. Instead, you will be required to take a number of Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab tests, depending on the regulations set by your destination country and Singapore.
While it is generally not required by most countries (with the exception of South Korea) to take a designated VTL flight to your intended destination, it will be mandatory for you to take a designated VTL flight back to Singapore in order to be exempted from quarantine upon arrival.
VTL flights available
These are airlines that are currently offering VTL flights: Singapore Airlines (SIA), Scoot and national carriers of the countries under the VTL scheme.
To keep things simple, here’s a checklist of the obligatory tasks that you need to complete before your departure from Singapore:
- Ensure that you’re fully vaccinated (reflected in your HealthHub app)
- Remained in Singapore for at least 14 days prior to departure
- Take a Covid-19 PCR test within 48 hours of your departure at MOH-approved clinics
- Notarise your PCR PDT (Pre-Departure Test) certificate
Upon receiving a digital PCR-test results certificate issued to you by the clinic, you will need to digitally authenticate and endorse this certificate via https://www.notarise.gov.sg/ before you travel. This indicates that your result and certificate was legitimately issued and authenticated by MOH.
After notarising this certificate, a QR code of your digitally authenticated and endorsed test certificate will be e-mailed to you within 15 minutes. For those who have presented your NRIC at the clinic, your SingPass app will also have this QR code stored in your account. Present this QR code to foreign immigration and customs authorities to verify the authenticity of the digital certificate.
Arriving at your travel destination
Besides the mandatory pre-departure tasks, it also strongly recommended for you to check the MFA website for the latest advisories applicable to the country that you’re visiting, as well as to visit the embassy website of your destination country to keep yourself informed on the relevant health requirements imposed on travellers from Singapore (e.g. PDT or vaccination certificates).
Brunei, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Britain, and the United States
Heading back to Singapore
As mentioned above, to complete the VTL scheme, you will need to book a VTL flight back to Singapore. Additionally, you will also be required to take 2 PCR tests to re-enter Singapore – one to be done 48 hours before departure to Singapore and the other done upon arriving in Singapore.
The pre-departure test to Singapore must be taken at an internationally recognised or accredited clinic, laboratory or medical facility. You should also obtain a copy of the test result that meet the following conditions:
- Is in English (or accompanied with an English translation),
- Contains the traveller’s name, Date of Birth/Passport number, and
- Reflects the date and result of the PCR test.
The on-arrival test in Singapore will cost $160 (including GST) each, and you are strongly advised to register and pay for the relevant tests via the Safe Travel Concierge (STC) website provided by Changi Airport. After this test, you must remain self-isolated until the result is confirmed to be negative. In this time, you should not take the public transport and avoid coming into contact with other household members who do not have the same travel history, arrival date and self-isolation requirement.
Children under 12
Children under 12 are ineligible for vaccination, and thus, have to be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult who is also travelling under the VTL scheme. This is generally the guideline for the other countries, with the exception of South Korea, who does not allow children or people who are unvaccinated to travel under the VTL.
This information is valid as of October 20 2021.
Travelling is something we just can’t do at the moment, but there is a way to temporarily quench the wanderlust — through virtual travel. We know, we know, it definitely isn’t the same, but hear us out! Walk Japan is a pioneer of luxury travel walking tours, taking small groups to the undiscovered places of Japan. As a way to continue to explore the beautiful country, they’ve launched a new series of virtual travel tours — Talk Japan. It’s a brilliant way of visiting the gorgeous country without leaving the comfort of your couch.
These captivating talks are a gateway to connect with Japan from the comfort of your home and you can register on their website for free. While we may not be able to physically trek through the rolling hills of Kunisaki or the snowy peaks of Hokkaido, they do insights into Japan’s vast history, culture and traditions.
Whether you’re looking to seek out Walk Japan in the future to travel or are simply interested in the wonders of this incredible country, do join for a virtual experience of a lifetime. Here are some upcoming talks for March and April.
What matters is water: ‘How I grow rice in my village’
Japan isn’t a wealth of natural resources but water is abundant across the nation. The rice paddies are a testament to this as they are flooded in the spring with each field shimmering with reflections of the setting sun and the surrounding countryside. Steaming bowls of white rice are essential to Japanese cuisine and invariably appear at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rice is also transformed into a range of other treats including senbei crackers, mochi cakes and, of course, sake.
Given its abundance, rice may seem like a straightforward crop to grow. However, in his talk, virtual travel tour leader Takuya Ugajin takes us through the dedicated year-round process of controlling huge volumes of water he needs to grow his rice in Nagano Prefecture. Takuya also enlightens us in the unique role that water played in forming Japanese Shinto beliefs and shrines.
11th March 2021 11am JST
‘What I think about Ueno when I think about Ueno’
Tokyo’s Ueno Park is a popular spot for ohanami, the Japanese celebratory spring picnics that are held under the full-bloom of sakura cherry trees each year. The tradition of Ohanami is highly anticipated by all and are extremely fun despite sometimes being raucous social occasions. In Ueno, however, before the bloom of the sakura blossoms, it saw a dramatic unfolding of events in the late 19th Century.
Professor Bill Steele reveals in his virtual travel tour how Ueno Park became a battlefield during the Boshin War (1868-69). He describes the unrest and uproar of the age and pays heed to the heroic soldiers, who are fondly remembered to this day in Japan and commemorated with statues in the park.
1st April 2021 11am JST
‘Read before you drink: unlocking the secrets of your sake bottle’
Walk Japan tour leader and head researcher for the Sake Industry News newsletter, Shima san brings her sake expertise to her virtual talk on Japan’s libation to the gods. Shima san delves into the variety of Sake available, introducing us to the different grades and complexity of flavours available. She also provides insights on how to choose a sake to accompany different occasions and tastes, and how to just simply imbibe for the pleasure of Japan’s most unique beverage.
22nd April 2021 11am JST
To join Talk Japan events register on their website, and complete the form. Talks will also be recorded and made available for viewing at a later date.
About Walk Japan
National Geographic has described Walk Japan as “one of the 200 Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. The company leads the way in providing the most fulfilling and enjoyable tours available in Japan. Walk Japan has an unrivalled range of regular, scheduled tours for Japan and is researching more for the future. It also creates and runs private, custom tours tailored to customers’ particular interests. These include private tours for families, friends, societies, companies and schools.
As most of us look forward to celebrating the festive season at home in Singapore this year, the stunning celebrations and decorations happening around the world still fill us with hope, excitement, and inspiration for our upcoming travels. The V&VPR team have rounded up our favourite places across the globe that are filling us with Christmas cheer!
📍London – The Savoy
The Savoy, the storied hotel on the Strand, is this year partnering with Nyetimber, the leading English Sparkling Wine producer, on some fabulously festive initiatives this December. Together they have created opportunities to shop, learn and indulge so that guests and visitors can enjoy a Christmas with added fizz this year!
📍Hong Kong – The Upper House
This festive season, The Upper House is aglow with a Christmas tree inspired by the iconic street signs of Hong Kong in collaboration with architectural studio, COLLECTIVE and Streetsign HK, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for local charity ImpactHK.
Inspired by Hong Kong’s iconic illuminating street signs and with the guidance of Streetsign HK, a group that advocates street signs as urban cultural heritage, COLLECTIVE reinvigorates the fading art of neon sign making with the creation of the “Doodle Tree”. Breaking with convention of 2D neon signs, the team and Mr. Wu Chi Kai, one of only three remaining local craftsmen, expertly fabricated the neon tubes into 3D form through perpetual experiments and traditional heated glass bending techniques.
📍Chengdu – The Temple House
The Temple House has unveiled a seven-meter gold-coloured Christmas tree constructed partly from recycled bamboo.
For the past four years, The Temple House has commissioned a one-of-a-kind tree that incorporates whimsical elements created from recycled materials. This year, the unconventional Christmas tree features bamboo partly recycled from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding decorated with hundreds of golden ornaments. After the festive season, the bamboo will be reused to house the herb garden in our courtyard during the winter months.
📍Bali – Capella Ubud
Throughout December, Capella Ubud, Bali pledges to donate 5% of room revenue from direct bookings to the English for a Brighter Future initiative, which supports elementary students and youths in the Keliki village with complimentary English language classes.
As English is the language of tourism in Bali, Capella Ubud hopes to enrich the lives of the local children and nurture them to become the hospitality leaders of tomorrow. Students are empowered to take charge of their education by collecting plastic waste in the neighbourhood in exchange for a place in the classroom; this, in turn, fosters love and respect for the environment.
As the world works together to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, Capella Hotels and Resorts pledges to support the youths of their community with the launch of their Capella Youth initiative, just ahead of the festive season.
Focused on empowering younger generations to create a better tomorrow, the Capella Youth initiative Is an ongoing programme, whereby each property within the esteemed portfolio will work with long-term charitable partners to give back to the community. The initiative was born out of the recognition that opportunity arises from education. Now, more than ever, the Capella Hotels and Resorts team wishes to galvanise their local communities and enable them to thrive for years to come.
Capella Singapore is making this festive season all the more special by working with the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) on two unique initiatives, which will allow guests to support a worthy cause while standing a chance to spend the festive season at Capella Singapore with their loved ones. Working synergistically with Association for Persons with Special Needs (ASPN), the property empowers youths to harness their full potential through curated mentorship opportunities.
Capella Singapore’s first festive initiative will be an online auction to raise funds for APSN, whereby guests will be able to bid online to win an exclusive staycation package over the festive season, which will include seasonal epicurean experiences. Four stays are up for grabs, with two on Christmas Eve and two on New Year’s Eve. In addition to the online auction, Capella Singapore will be inviting long-stay residents and colleagues to play ‘Secret Santa,’ and ensure that the children protected by APSN receive a special gift this year.
Having welcomed its first guests in October this year, Capella Bangkok is committed to a longterm partnership with “Wat Wang Pla Cheed” school in Nakhon Nayok district. In December, Capella Bangkok will kickstart the collaboration by supporting the renovation of the school’s canteen, with members of the culinary team curating a healthy menu for the students.
Guests of Capella Bangkok are invited to support the initiative over the festive season by purchasing star ornaments, which will adorn the hotel’s Christmas tree.
Throughout December, Capella Ubud, Bali pledges to donate 5% of room revenue from direct bookings to the English for a Brighter Future initiative, which supports elementary students and youths in the Keliki village with complimentary English language classes.
As English is the language of tourism in Bali, Capella Ubud hopes to enrich the lives of the local children and nurture them to become the hospitality leaders of tomorrow. Students are empowered to take charge of their education by collecting plastic waste in the neighbourhood in exchange for a place in the classroom; this, in turn, fosters love and respect for the environment. Proceeds from recycling the discarded plastic bottles are reinvested to purchase school books and further educational tools for the community.
Capella Shanghai is kickstarting a collaboration with Shanghai Young Bakers, an empowering charitable initiative that provides French bakery training to marginalised Chinese youths who have been forced to drop out of school due to family circumstances and are unable to find stable employment.
Capella Shanghai is offering two 10-week internships, whereby students will receive one-on-one mentorship from Executive Chef Romain Chapel of one-Michelin-star le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire. Over the festive season, a portion of all proceeds from Capella Shanghai’s Boulangerie will also be donated to Shanghai Young Bakers.
With the long-awaited Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble launching this weekend, we share V&VPR’s favourite places to eat, sleep and play in the Fragrant Harbour to help you create your ideal itinerary.
Our favourite places to stay
The Upper House is an urban wellness destination nestled between Hong Kong’s skyscrapers with a 24-hour gym, yoga and fitness classes on a stunning lawn and in-room treatments using organic Bamford products. The spacious baths overlooking the city skyline is the ultimate cherry on top for a relaxing stay.
The Langham, Hong Kong is renowned for its trademark European Luxury and its great location in the heart of the city. The property features 498 stylishly appointed rooms and suites that exude an undeniable timeless elegance.
L’hotel Island South, Hong Kong’s first Geopark Hotel, brings guests to the quaint Southern District on Hong Kong Island, where the richness of nature serves a stunning backdrop to their contemporary ocean inspired rooms. Inspired by the style of the boutique hotel, the 37-storey modern Hotel offers 432 spacious guestrooms and suites that redefine conventional notions of comfort, service and style.
Soaring over Victoria Harbour, Rosewood Hong Kong is a new centre of gravity on the Kowloon waterfront; the crown jewel of the Victoria Dockside arts and design district. The 413-room vertical estate offers eight restaurants and lounges complemented by recreational facilities including Asaya, a fitness centre and swimming pool and standout meetings and event space.
Our favourite restaurants, bars and cafes
Located in Sino Plaza in Causeway Bay, chef Seth Rogan brings contemporary British cuisine to Hong Kong through his creative menus at Roganic. The restaurant first opened up in London and was recently introduced in Hong Kong in February 2019. Rogan’s classic British dishes are made from local, fresh produce from local farms and suppliers.
MANA! has been pioneering the sustainable market in Hong Kong. Serving “fast slow food” through inspiring vegetarian menus and operating a strict zero waste policy – MANA! Has saved over 100 tonnes of food waste by composting its vegetable-only scraps. Other eco-friendly iniatitives include sourcing biodegradable takeaway packaging, and hiring full time staff to sort and transport the food waste for composting.
A Modern European grand café of the 21st century, Café Gray Deluxe is a Hong Kong institution famed for killer views and locally inspired continental cooking. They also do some of the city’s best non-alcoholic cocktails, including Empty Pocket with black tea, lemon, passionfruit, elderflower and red dates.
Ranked 33rd in Asia’s 50 Best Bars, Lobster Bar & Grill offers a creative take on your usual non-alcoholic beverages. The Cranky Crusta is a blend of Lyre’s American Malt, Seedlip spice, fresh lemon juice, orange marmalade and pineapple gum syrup, while Reds Are Roses features Seedlip grove 42, Lyre’s Dry Vermouth, red rose shrub, chamomile tea and cherry syrup.
Nailing both their beans selection and café aesthetic, NOC Coffee Co serves up fragrant coffee and nutritious food at their impeccably-designed outlets in Sai Ying Pun, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Tin Hau and Whampoa.
Our favourite cultural and nature spots
Located on Po Fook Hill at Pai Tau Village sits one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist temples. The temple was founded in 1949 by the Reverend Yuet Kai and completed in 1957, renowned for housing over 12,000 of statues of Buddha, with no two exactly the same.
A crossing of Victoria Harbour on a Star Ferry has been named by the National Geographic of Traveler as one of the “fifty places of a lifetime”. Take the trip at night to soak in the panoramic views of Hong Kong’s glimmering skyline.
For something relatively easy with stunning views, head to Dragon’s Back. Located in Shek O, in the south-east of Hong Kong Island, the Dragon’s Back meanders through Shek O Country Park, with gorgeous vistas of the beaches below and the South China Sea.
The highest peak in Hong Kong at 957 metres, Tai Mo Shan is renowned for its breath-taking sunrises. Head off before dawn to catch the sun’s slow ascent as its rays light up the city.
Ideal for more seasoned trekkers, this hike will take you along the east coast of Sai Kung Country Park past four stunning beaches: Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan. You’ll be rewarded with uninterrupted views of turquoise clear waters, lush greenery and sparkling white sand.
Our favourite places for a workout
PURE Yoga is dedicated to serving the yoga community in Asia by offering diverse yoga practices – Vinyasa, Hatha, Hot, Wall Rope Yoga, Pre-Natal and more. Try a class with Patrick or Jenny and you can opt for a complimentary trial if you’re only in town for a few days.
H-Kore’s unique training methods will ensure that all your fitness needs are met. Try the MegaKore classes which are 45 minute Lagree Fitness classes performed on the state of the art Megaformer machine will strengthen and tone your whole body.
Asia’s first articulation of the new wave of indoor cycling, XYZ is the best spinning experience in the city, designed to help you escape the intensity of day-to-day life, reset your compass and engage with your sense of purpose.
In a year where very few of us are travelling much outside a few miles of our home, V&VPR is honoured to see 12 of our clients ranking among the top hotels in the Condé Nast Traveler 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards – and there is one very good reason why these properties were amongst the chosen few.
With travel planning off the cards, this year has been a time for the industry to pause and reset, evaluating what is truly important. Despite a tumultuous 2020, the teams at Capella Hotels and Resorts, Singita, and Swire Hotels have each made a conscious effort to better their local and international communities, through a range of initiatives designed to make the post-pandemic world a slightly better place.
Capella Hotels and Resorts: Properties within the Capella Hotels and Resorts portfolio launched a number of CSR initiatives, such as a ‘Solitude in Nature’ experience at Capella Ubud – a portion of the funds from which were donated to local families in the Keliki village who had been impacted by the pandemic – and complimentary stays for healthcare professionals at Capella Shanghai.
- Capella Sanya – #21 Top 30 Resorts in Asia
- Capella Shanghai – #16 Top 20 Hotels in China
- Capella Singapore – #2 Top 20 Hotels in Singapore
- Capella Ubud – #16 Top 20 Resorts in Indonesia list
Singita: Sadly, the halt in tourism is having a devastating ripple effect on conservation efforts across Africa. Throughout this period, Singita’s conservation teams and partners are ensuring their ongoing conservation and community programmes continue to thrive, making sure that areas, animals and surrounding community are happy and safe, with anti-poaching canine units and fundraising efforts for the relocation of endangered rhinos.
- Singita Sasakwa Lodge – #1 Best Hotels and Resorts in Africa
- Singita Pamushana Lodge – #5 Best Hotels and Resorts in Africa
- Singita Boulders Lodge – #2 Best Hotels and Resorts in South Africa
Swire Hotels: Continuing their CSR efforts this year, Swire Hotels launched several new initiatives; The Upper House worked with Foodlink Foundation to help reduce hunger as well as the pressure on Hong Kong’s landfills, whilst The Opposite House launched a ‘Top Sanlitun Picks’ initiative to shine a spotlight on local independent businesses during these trying times.
- The Temple House, Chengdu – #3 Top 20 Hotels in China
- The Opposite House, Beijing – #4 Top 20 Hotels in China
- The Middle House, Shanghai – #17 Top 20 Hotels in China
- The Upper House – #5 Top 10 Hotels in Hong Kong
- EAST, Hong Kong – #8 Top 10 Hotels in Hong Kong
The awards are compiled by Condé Nast Traveler readers, who rate each property according to their personal experiences. Particularly in 2020, the awards highlight the restorative and transformative power of travel.
We cannot wait to return to these wonderful properties.
The full Condé Nast Traveler 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards Results can be found here.
As we have experienced first-hand, the ‘new normal’ is marked by unprecedented uncertainty. For PR professionals in the travel industry, this means that storytelling in a post-pandemic world will have to grapple with unpredictability and the upheaval of emotions in society. Consumers will be drawn to stories that address this new normal, yet also point to a more hopeful future, stressing how they can be a part of it. This is a great time for brands to assert themselves, refocusing on what matters most.
The V&VPR team share our top tips on how brands can navigate these challenging times:
Determine what readers and journalists want
Aside from putting out amazing products and packages, there is a new expectation placed on brands to be more in tune with current trends and social issues. This is especially important to ensure your brand is always adapting, as the media landscape is ever-changing and must be consistently monitored. When the pandemic started to pick up pace around the world, scheduled stories on travel trends for 2020 immediately went out the window. Instead, brands had to look ahead and anticipate new trends that would arise in the new normal as a result of COVID-19, including a rising demand for personal wellbeing and social responsibility.
Appeal to and connect with a more eco-conscious and culture-conscious audience
What matters to you? The Earth is in need of love now more than ever. Sustainability is not just a choice, but a moral imperative, and consumers have begun to realise this. The same goes with culture-conscious choices, like the need for racial representation and gender equality. The most effective stories arise when the beliefs and motivations of your brand resonate with the desires and lifestyle of your consumers. This does not mean that brands have to hop on the bandwagon for every trend, but highlights the importance of maintaining your brand identity through combining it with the news around the world that matter to your target audience.
Highlight how your brand ties into the consumer’s journey
Cookie-cutter experiences will be less desirable, and meaningful content and experiences will hold more impact in the new normal, especially as consumers become more mindful of the privilege it is to buy or travel. What are your brand values, and how can you set up touch points for consumers to interact with your brand so that they know exactly who you are and what you stand for?
Think outside the box
What are you able to offer that stands out from the crowd? Do your research, gather your team, and think of something different. A great way to come up with new ideas is through the free association technique where random ideas are thrown out in an attempt to force connection between your current questions or challenge –– this usually results in ideas far separate from the mainstream.
Read the rest of our blog here.
While we won’t be travelling for the foreseeable future, it’s never too early to start dreaming about your first trip once international travel is a reality again. Of course, that first trip will have to be a trip of a lifetime and if it’s not on the ‘gram, did it really happen? Undeniably, this generation of travellers curate their itineraries like they do their feed. From stunning nature views to breath-taking architecture — there’s no Instagrammable destination quite like Sydney. You have the sand, surf, city and nature all rolled into one amazing, unforgettable destination. Bookmark these locations for your next visit, you’re going to want to get them all.
1. Bondi Icebergs
Sydney is renowned for its incredible ocean pools but none are as iconic as Bondi Icebergs. The 50 metre stretch of turquoise is set against the backdrop of the expansive ocean and crashing waves, and is truly a sight to behold. Whether you’re getting a shot in the water or a bird’s eye view from Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Bondi Icebergs is arguably the most photogenic pool in the world and worth a visit.
2. Bronte Bath Viewpoint
Already captured your iconic Bondi Icebergs shot? Why not do the scenic Bondi to Bronte Walk and get yourself to the Bronte Baths? Nestled between the well-loved Bondi and Coogee beaches in Sydney’s east, Bronte Beach is where the locals go. The hidden gem is a pictorial haven, offering balmy seaside parks for picnics, a crystal-clear aquatic reserve for snorkelling and diving, as well as an ocean pool for protected swimming. Built into the rocky cliffside in 1887, the Bronte Baths can be found at the beach’s southern headland and travellers can access the panoramic viewpoint by heading to the end of the walkway and climbing up the rocks. From the semi-shaded cove, soak in the sweeping views of the bay and the ocean horizon; early birds will be rewarded with a remarkable sunrise.
3. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair has some of the best views of Sydney’s iconic skyline – you’ll be able to get the Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge all in one frame for that money shot. Located east of the Sydney Opera House on the edge of The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, you can set up picnic rugs alongside the western side of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and if you’re there at dusk, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the sun setting behind the Sydney Opera House. This is a sight for sore eyes, and one sure to satisfy your followers and get the likes rolling in.
4. Manly Wormhole
One of the city’s best-kept secrets is the Queenscliff Tunnel, also known as the Manly Wormhole. The tunnel is said to have been dug out a century ago by local fishermen as a shortcut between Freshwater Beach and Manly. Follow in the fishermen’s footsteps down the 50-metre long tunnel that burrows straight through the cliff. There will be a few boulders to climb over but the view of the expansive ocean framed beautifully by the opening of the tunnel is truly worth the trip. Budding geologists can also appreciate the rock formations and cross-section of the rock layers along the way.
5. Queen Victoria Building
Dating back to 1898, the Queen Victoria Building replaced the original Sydney markets on the site and spans an entire block along George Street. The elaborate Romanesque architecture – with its semi-circular arches, stained glass windows and mighty domes – was planned specifically to employ many out-of-work craftsmen during the recession. Now, these heritage architectural features make the landmark hard to miss as you walk down George Street and its many nooks and crannies provide a magnificent backdrop for that perfect Instagram shot.
6. Wendy’s Secret Garden
Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is a popular spot for locals. Nestled in the Lavender Bay Parklands, the garden is a whimsical oasis that allows you to escape the busy city and get a good dose of the best that Mother Nature has to offer. Get lost amongst the towering foliage, lush plantings and meandering paths, while stopping for the occasional artwork and sculpture along the way. The myriad of green tones and pops of colours from the native flowers will have you snapping away.
7. Forgotten Songs, Angel Place
An ethereal cluster of over a hundred cages is suspended above Angel Place, a pedestrian lane that runs between George Street and Pitt Street. The creator of this artwork, Michael Thomas Hill, explains how the striking installation explores how Sydney’s fauna has evolved and adapted to co-exist with increased urbanisation. Once you’ve captured your shot, take a second to listen to the bird calls, which change as day shifts to night.
8. Paddington Reservoir
A short drive from the CBD, the Paddington Reservoir is a heritage-listed public park. Built in the early 1800s, the reservoir was decommissioned in 1914 and has since then been transformed into a Romanesque sunken garden with a lake of contemplation at its centre, a hanging garden canopy around the perimeter and an eastern chamber left empty but for the wall art. The preservation of much of its original architecture – think towering archways, brick and iron structures – make for a rustic Instagrammable spot.
9. Bare Island, La Perouse
One of the many hidden gems in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Bare Island is a small atoll that houses a 19th-century fort and old wooden footbridge connecting the island to the mainland. With dreamy coastal views of Botany Bay, this photo spot is the perfect blend of history and nature. Fun fact: the fort features in Mission: Impossible 2 as the hideout of villain Sean Ambrose.
10. Green Square Library
Boasting floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with a multicolour array of books, Green Square Library seems to have been made for the ‘gram. Besides the impressive rainbow book wall, the library also has reading nooks tucked within the bookshelves, as well as 40 skylights to make sure you get all the natural light you need for your shot and your reading! The photogenic library is a short 15 minute train trip from Circular Quay and is a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.