It’s human nature to crave adventure – we’re all itching to explore foreign cities, visit beautiful destinations, maybe meet a few strangers who become friends — but how can we do this responsibly, minimising the negative impact that tourism can have on the planet?
By traveling smarter, we can leverage the power of the industry to positively contribute to environmental, community, social and economic gains. Here are our top tips to achieve a more sustainable travel itinerary in 2020:
- Avoid over-tourism: it’s tempting to be lured to Insta-popular destinations (think Venice, Machu Picchu, and Santorini), but these destinations are being overwhelmed by tourists, causing a strain on infrastructure and pricing locals out of the communities. When planning your next trip, venture off the beaten track and explore somewhere new – one of our top picks for 2020 is Mongolia, which is perfect for those seeking remote adventures and eye-opening cultural experiences
- Timing is key: if you still prefer to visit a more popular destination, consider traveling outside of peak season; there will be fewer people around, and the money you spend will help businesses that may struggle during quieter periods
- Support recovering areas: another way to be more mindful when creating your destination bucket list is to explore areas that have been impacted by natural disaster or social unrest, and are relying on the economic benefits of tourism to bounce back. Sri Lanka and New South Wales are a couple of options to consider
Opt for a hotel or accommodation option that holds itself to high environmental standards. A couple of our favourites include:
- Singita: conservation brand Singita follows a 100-year purpose to preserve and protect the African wilderness for future generations through the three pillars of biodiversity, community and sustainability. Through partnerships with non-profit funds and trusts Singita implements strategic conservation projects in each of the six regions in which they are located to ensure the existence of Africa’s magnificent wildlife populations and with programmes that aim to help create economic independence within communities that live alongside their reserves.
- Capella Ubud: a luxury tented camp designed by Bill Bensley, Capella Ubud is nestled amidst the unspoiled beauty of Bali’s luscious rainforest. With the conscious idea of “minimal intervention,” thoughtful care was taken in the design of the hotel, and all trees and local plants were left untouched and protected throughout the construction process – not a single tree was cut during the camp’s creation, and as such, there are several trees intercepting the property’s accommodation, restaurants and the spa tents.
- Air travel is often the only viable way to reach some of the world’s greatest destinations, but try to fly direct as much as possible, select eco-friendly airlines and look for carriers that use sustainable aviation biofuel. To avoid air travel altogether, consider destinations that are closer to home; The Sanchaya is a 50-minute ferry ride from Singapore
- Consider the romance of rail travel and embark on an unforgettable rail journey through the likes of South Africa or Tibet
- Explore by foot – Walk Japan has an unrivalled range of tours spread across the length and breadth of Japan, focusing the development of tours on Japan’s little-known and less-visited regions. The team are keenly aware of the need for the responsible and sustainable development of Japan’s tourism resources and are widely recognised for their endeavours
Whilst you’re there:
- Disconnect from the digital world and immerse yourself into local life; ask locals for recommendations on where to eat and what to see and strike up conversations about the history and traditions of the area
- Carry a reusable water bottle to avoid unnecessary use of single-use plastic bottles. Our favourites are from bkr and byta
What are your top tips for travelling more responsibly?
When we were first introduced to Darel Carey’s monochromatic tape installations, we were mesmerised!
Darel’s work includes dimensional line drawings and immersive tape installations. Optical and spatial perception are his main focus; he uses lines to shape and bend the perceived dimensions of a surface or a space.
Earlier this year, Darel was recently in Bintan, Indonesia to add one of his incredible creations to the walls at The Sanchaya. We managed to catch up with him whilst he was in Singapore…
V&VPR: We LOVE your work! What inspired you initially to work with tape as your art form, and how has your style changed over time?
Darel: Thank you! Tape for me is a versatile medium I discovered while at Mending Otis College. Artists typically use tape as a means to an end, either to mask straight lines for paint, or for marking areas temporarily. While working with tape on a background grid for a group show, it dawned on me to use tape as a medium in itself, to traverse multiple surfaces and create immersive experiences. My style has gradually become more refined. I used to lay down lines without fully knowing how they would interact. The more pieces I create, the more familiar I become with the organic process, and how it affects the experience of the viewer.
V&VPR: You have quite a strong Instagram following – how has Instagram been instrumental in your success?
Darel: Using Instagram has enabled me to present my art to a worldwide audience, which led to many opportunities. Most of the people I’ve worked with found me on social media or online somewhere.
V&VPR: Do you believe social media also has its downsides when it comes to the world of art? Have you found that people copy your style, and do you think Instagram impacts the ability to be original?
Darel: Social media does indeed have its downsides. More people see more things from more and more other people. That can be negative in the world of art when it comes to copying or stealing styles or other intellectual property. I do see some of that, some copying and stealing, which I think is an unavoidable problem. The more people are copying, the less they are being original. My approach to this is to keep evolving in my art and philosophy, to keep refining my aesthetic and understanding, and to focus on my strengths. Pushing oneself to keep evolving is key to being original. Adapting quickly to new environments, like social media, will help you advance and stay original. What’s new is constantly changing.
V&VPR: You travel a lot with your work – having recently been at The Sanchaya – do you find that new cultures and places influence your style?
Darel: Every time I see and experience something new, I try to soak up some inspiration from it, and expand my horizon, especially while traveling. It may be a pattern I see in architecture, or intricacies in plants I’ve never seen, or nuances in social etiquette. At The Sanchaya, I experienced, and my art became part of, a juxtaposition of different styles from different times and places. I really enjoyed the colonial interiors and the Asian influence in architecture, surrounded by vegetation, all in front of the aqua-coloured coast, on the Northside of Bintan, Indonesia.
V&VPR: What’s next for you?
Darel: I have a few things going on in the coming months. I’m part of a group show at the Millard Sheets Art Center in Pomona, CA, on view until early November. I’ll be in New York soon to create a temporary installation at a tech conference, and shortly after I’ll be painting a mural in a residence lobby in Cambridge, MA. In the bigger picture, I want to expand and try new things, perhaps in the sculptural or digital realm. I also like to write, so maybe that will manifest in some way. I’m just happy to be creating, and grateful for the opportunities to do so!
This week, the Global Wellness Summit took place in V&VPR’s home base of Singapore. Having led campaigns for the likes of The Sanchaya, Guavapass, and Capella — brands that see wellness as a core business pillar — we were particularly excited to learn more about the integration of nature and wellness into luxury travel. Read on for our summary:
With more proof than ever of the strong link between nature and wellness, people have started seeking ways to incorporate ecotherapy into their everyday lives. This has led to the boom of the nature economy and these days, wellness has become an integral aspect of luxury travel — promoting health, spirituality and a deep connection to surrounding nature.
The Wellness Benefits Of Nature
Outdoor activities have proven to be staggeringly good for the brain. A study by the European Society of Cardiology, found that brisk walking for at least 25 minutes daily could add at least three years onto an individual’s life. This simple activity helps repair DNA and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and breast or colon cancer. Those who participate in ‘green exercise’, a term that describes working out in the outdoors, will also find that it lowers blood pressure, increases creativity, decreases depression, and increases blood flow.
In a 2009 study by a team of Dutch researchers, it was also found that those who lived within about half a mile of green space had a lower incidence of getting ill with diseases such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines. Taking these insights, hospitality operators can and should incorporate a variety of outdoor activities for different health and fitness levels, into their programmes.
Applying Nature Into The Hospitality Industry
Some of the most intuitive hotels and spas take advantage of their beautiful locations to offer more outdoor programming, including highly customised packages tailored to individuals for a completely unique wellness experience. As the benefits of immersing in nature become more well-known, hotels and spas are tapping into what makes their destination unique, focusing on guest excursions to appreciate picturesque landscapes and expansive views of the destination scenery.
Biophilic design, a design concept within buildings to increase guest connectivity to the natural environment has become increasingly popular – properties far from any natural beauty have brought the outdoors inside, showcasing local flora and fauna within their establishment to reap the same health and wellness benefits.
These seemingly little steps will almost certainly have a positive effect on customers’ and employee’s wellbeing, and we look forward to seeing hospitality companies put their own creative spin on the subject. Visit the Global Wellness Summit page for the full in-depth report.
If you’re looking for some fun activities to spend time with your friends and family, Scott Dunn is here to make your wildest dreams come true. From stunning wild walks or airborne adventures on hot air balloons, Scott Dunn curates experiential excursions to discover areas of outstanding beauty in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations.
Being the pioneers of luxury travel, Scott Dunn crafts walking itineraries and hot air balloon adventures providing a multi-sensory way for you to explore a country and uncover the culture, history and landscape while admiring magnificent views.
Scott Dunn’s Rainbow Mountain Trek in Peru is an off-the-beaten-track exploration of diverse landscapes and remote corners of the Peruvian high Andes. The tour includes a trip to the ancient Inca citadel of remarkable wonder of the world, Machu Picchu for a privately guided tour.
The most exhilarating part of the journey is the high-altitude Ausangate Trek, when you will embark on a challenging 4-day trek through the Vilcanota Cordillera mountain range, reaching altitudes of over 5,000 metres. You will get to visit and take pictures of the well-known Rainbow Mountain with its vivid colours and snow-capped Ausangate peaks. After a long day of trekking, comfortable lodges with spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountains, comfortable beds and thermal feather duvets await. You will also get to take a trip in a hot air balloon drifting gently high up in the sky, and sweeping over dramatic landscapes.
Scott Dunn’s balloon adventure across the Maasai Mara gives you a chance to float above the untouched beauty of one of Africa’s greatest wildlife Reserves. You will have the opportunity to watch the sunrise over impressive plains, home to Africa’s most diverse and renowned eco-systems and wild animals. Ideal for families or groups, Mara House is a private residence tucked away in a prime wildlife area outside the Maasai Mara, fully staffed with an in-house chef, house manager and its own safari guide for flexible game drives and safari walks through the national park.
Through these activities, Scott Dunn offers exclusive experiences mixed with adrenaline-pumping adventure, and without substantial loss of creature comforts.