A new type of traveller is emerging, and their demand for a revolutionised holiday experience will have an unprecedented impact on travel in 2016. But who are they? And how will they re-mould our ideas about what makes an idyllic holiday?
Trend forecasters The Future Laboratory describe this group as “new bricolage travellers”. Why “bricolage”? The word is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “construction or creation from a diverse range of available things”. In this complex world, our lives are assuming a pattern where themes of nationality, gender and fixed identity are becoming fluid, and this group of travellers is looking beyond these conventions to assert who they are.
Identity used to be something that you were born with, but this group is instead defined by its thirst for global experiences. These experiences allow them to learn, grow and re-define who they are, as they collect and display them like trophies on social media. They are rootless and untethered, and what’s more, they’re a lucrative demographic that the travel industry will soon be clamouring to cater for.
We’re already starting to see how luxury travel experiences are shifting in focus. Hotels and travel operators are creating packages to appeal to those who seek personal and professional growth – even on holiday. Here are a few to watch out for, and even to jump on board with, if you fancy yourself as one of the “new bricolage” kids on the block…
New grand tours
This autumn, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will take branded escapades to new heights, with Extraordinary Adventures. The 25-day journey on a Four Seasons private jet starts in Austin, Texas, where guests board the 52 seater plane to fly south to Costa Rica’s pristine beaches and animated wildlife. From there, it’s onto Hawaii for stand-up paddleboarding, hiking and more, before crossing the International Date Line en route to Sydney. Here, there’s a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sydney Opera House, a Harbour Bridge Climb and surfing on Bondi Beach. The trip also takes in Langkawi in Malaysia, Mauritius, a Serengeti safari in Tanzania and Marrakech city break before concluding in Lisbon. (17 September-11 October; US$137,000/£97,860). fourseasons.com
Founder of the Discovery Channel John Kendricks has opened a luxurious Colorado mountain resort for his Curiosity Retreats. Each holiday is built around a four-day schedule starring eight speakers, covering all four categories that Kendricks considers foundational: science, technology, civilisation and the human spirit. The presentations are interspersed with arts, music, yoga and horse-riding for when visitors need a break from discussing string theory, nanotechnology and global conflict. curiosityretreats.com
For Londoners not able to escape the city, SideStory has launched its own immersive experiences. Each event centres around a figure from the art, fashion, food or design industry, with an emphasis on learning through experience and sharing ideas.
This culture concierge service is co-founded by former Wallpaper* publisher Gord Ray, ex Wallpaper* City Guides editor Rachael Moloney and former corporate development director at Virgin, Giovanni Donaldson. It is aimed at people whose cultural know-how is already high, and who want that extra bit of access and expertise.
Donaldson told us: “There are many websites aimed at helping people find where to stay, where to eat and what sights to see. We’re helping people find who to meet.” sidestory.co
Martin Raymond is founder of trend forecasting and strategic innovation consultancy, The Future Laboratory
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