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How the Luxury Travel Industry Is Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted communities all around the world in unexpected ways, the travel industry seems to suffer the most consequences, with no indication when things will return to normal. However, one thing’s for certain; traveling as we know it will never be quite the same again. With a rising number of travelers opting for more high-end vacations this year, here is how the luxury travel industry decided to respond to the coronavirus pandemic:

Secluded villas have become the number one accommodation option1. Secluded villas have become the number one accommodation option

Although many high-end hotels around the world have enhanced their cleaning and disinfecting practices, a large number of travelers are still hesitant to stay in luxury hotels and interact with different staff members the way they did before. Instead, the travel industry is seeing a rise in demand for secluded luxury villa rentals among avid travelers.

But even though people are evidently eager to go on vacation, they still want to maintain social distancing practices. For this reason, luxury travelers are declining services such as private chefs and housekeeping during their stay, which are commonly included in villa rental packages. What’s more, not only are these tourists renting private villas, but also ensuring that the destination they choose is as quiet and reclusive as possible, for the safest accommodation option currently available.

Private jet companies are seeing a boom in popularity2. Private jet companies are seeing a boom in popularity

Commercial airlines are dramatically suffering from the COVID-19 travel restrictions, despite the health checks and protective equipment requirements many airports around the world have implemented. Private jet companies, however, are seeing an increase in demand, both from travelers booking last-minute vacations, and people eager to evacuate countries in lockdowns.

Private airplanes generally fly out of smaller terminals, and are subjected to different security and health screenings, which tend to be quicker and less rigorous, while also being able to bypass certain travel restriction thanks to legal loopholes. All of these reasons might explain why travelers are suddenly so eager to spend more on such a luxury transportation option.

Luxurious off shore travel is on the rise3. Luxurious off-shore travel is on the rise

Even though we’ve seen that many cruises have been put off due to the high risk of virus transmission, yachting, on the other hand, is as popular as ever, and is even being encouraged among luxury travelers. The reason for this increase in popularity is the privacy and comfort that yachting trips offer, as long as a trusted and reputable broker is chosen.

But apart from renting or buying their own yachts, high-end travelers are also investing in luxury Ribco inflatable boats, which are among the best and most powerful yacht tenders available. These boats give travelers the opportunity to access to smaller, more secluded beaches, allowing them to maintain a social distance in stunning natural surroundings, while only adding to the luxury travel experience.

High end spas and resorts are more popular than ever4. High-end spas and resorts are more popular than ever

While many countries around the world have ordered spas and wellness centers to shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, high-end spas in locations where restrictions weren’t quite as strict are still remaining open. However, they have increased their cleanliness and sanitization measures, in order to prioritize the health and safety of their clients.

These wellness resorts are catering to their clientele by promoting relaxation packages that aim to relieve the stress and anxiety that’s related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Due to these services, it doesn’t seem quite as surprising that spa and wellness centers in remote locations are more popular than ever before among luxury travelers.

Luxury travel companies are allowing postponements5. Luxury travel companies are allowing postponements

Evidently, there are a number of safe ways to travel during the coronavirus pandemic, which cater to the average high-end tourist. However, a significant number of luxury travelers are still more inclined to postpone or cancel their vacation this year due to health and safety concerns. Others might also worry about getting stranded in a remote location due to travel bans, as most high-end travelers are often quite busy individuals with tight schedules.

For these reasons, many luxury travel companies and advisors are offering their clients the opportunity to postpone their vacation until later in the year or even 2021, although full cancellations might not always be available, as it’s difficult to get refunds at this moment from airlines, hotels and other travel providers.

Although travel is slowly coming back in different, reinvented forms among luxury tourists, at this point in time it’s imperative to put a focus on qualitative, instead of quantitative travel, in order to make a positive impact together, as global citizens.

This blog post was authored by Sophia Smith

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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