From Covid crisis, luxury travel trends emerge

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Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

Out of every crisis comes new travel trends, or least new buzzwords that are generated as certain types of travel gain traction in response to chaos.

Two of the newest luxury phrases coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic are "slow" and "regenerative" travel.

Last week, I wrote about some examples of the growing slow travel movement, which is focused on single versus multiple destinations as those venturing out again first seek to avoid both potential points of contact as well as  fast-changing border restrictions.

Certainly, single-destination trips have long been favored by many travelers, but their increased popularity has many companies increasing their one-point product lines over cruises and multidestination tours.

And as companies and travelers increasingly focus on advancing sustainable tourism initiatives coming out of the pandemic, one group of 50-plus independent boutique, ecoluxury hotels and lodges has formed a shared benefit corporation and online booking platform called Regenerative Travel.

While the term doesn't necessarily highlight a new movement, it certainly underscores the evolution of sustainable travel beyond some of the more traditional definitions of the term to "regeneration in order to reverse climate change and use tourism to rebuild for a more positive future."

It's a topic that has been top of mind across the travel sector in recent months, including taking center stage at the recent Adventure Travel Trade Association virtual summit.

Regenerative Travel is also highlighting its mission during climate week this week with a three-day Regenerative Travel Summit running through Friday as one of the official events of of Climate Week NYC in association with the United Nations and the City of New York.

"As the Covid-19 global crisis continues to spread and the incredible economic impact is made clear, it is imperative that we rebuild a tourism sector that is safe, equitable and climate-friendly. It is more important than ever to share the key challenges, best practices and future solutions needed across the travel industry," said Amanda Ho, co-founder of Regenerative Travel.

Whether companies and groups continue to use the term sustainable or regenerative, one thing seems clear, the topic of advancing environmental initiatives, helping to sustain and support local communities and managing the pre-Covid problems of overtourism promise to stay front and center for both luxury and travel generally as the industry navigates a recovery.

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