I recently attended the 2020 Global Wellness Summit as a member of the press. The event brought together experts from around the world to share their latest research and ideas about creating a healthier planet and culture. The Summit stimulated important conversations about new mindsets, products, practices and trends as we enter 2021. In the area of travel, the pandemic has both stunted our wanderlust and stimulated new ways to explore the world. As travelers recalibrate their priorities and values, a new way to travel is emerging that is more self-aware.
Wellness travel has been a buzzword for several years now, referring to self-care and self-improvement excursions such as spa vacations and retreats. Today, a seismic shift is underway as we embrace the idea that wellness is about connecting back to the earth and understanding the teachings we can get from the land.
We are evolving into conscientious travelers, craving deeper connections and meaningful experiences while examining how our travel impacts a destination. This new mindset is giving rise to regenerative travel.
More and more people are looking for vacations that align with their values. Regenerative travel builds on the concept of sustainable travel, taking it to a higher level. “Regenerative travel is about being green and doing less damage. Sustainable travel is reaching net neutral and regenerative travel is about making a place better. Travel used to be about discovery and interacting with culture. There is a shift to a slower, more considered way to travel and a rallying call for the travel industry to rethink its environmental impact,” says Amanda Ho, Co-Founder, Regenerative Travel, Hong Kong.
Amanda is the Co-Founder and Brand Director of Regenerative Travel, an online travel platform dedicated to connecting mindful travelers to inspiring content and values-aligned hotels (Regenerative Resorts) or curated itineraries. Playa Viva is a founding hotel on the platform and aims to create a positive impact and legacy for the community, taking into account the history of place and its role as a steward of the land. The property includes a bird-filled estuary and ancient ruins. “Playa Viva is about looking at the whole history of the area and going back to the elders to learn how the land has transformed. This small town surrounding the resort became a gateway to the property and rejuvenated the village,” says Ho.
The regenerative traveler is aware of travel’s impact on the environment and seeks experiences that adhere to their ethos and values. “You can make a positive impact on the world through travel. Regenerative travel is about integrating the local culture into the property, immersing travelers in time and place,” says Ho.
The pandemic’s enforced social distancing is also bringing travel back to nature, the outdoors. New ways to vacation include “slow travel” that has people taking time to do mindful things and human-powered travel involving activities such as cycling, hiking, paddling, and walking.
Regenerative Resorts is an independently owned collection of eco-luxury lodges and hotels that inspire transformative experiences and are dedicated to the highest levels of social and environmental impact. Through sharing individual best practices and, through collaboration, Regenerative Travel enables the collection to work together to achieve significant economies of scale, to build liquidity and legacy, and to make a deeper impact.