Austin, Texas (December 09, 2022): Pelorus, the ultimate experiential travel company turned five in November 2022. To mark this milestone they’ve released their Luxury Travel and Yachting Report that looks at the trends that will define the next five years of travel. Developed in association with Globetrender, a leading travel trend forecasting agency, the UK and US based operator focuses on seven key trends they predict will be shaping the future of luxury travel between 2023 and 2027.
Pelorus co-founder and CEO, Geordie Mackay-Lewis shares, “In joining forces with Globetrender, we have been able to produce a mind-expanding piece of thought leadership that provides legitimate and trustworthy signals of the trends shaping the future of luxury travel. As a highly innovative travel provider; we always aim to be ahead of the curve, and provide our clients with visionary experiences that are unparalleled. Over the coming five years, we will be leading the way with crypto payments for trips, pioneering clean tech expeditions and new technology, among many other initiatives. We hope this report inspires other brands to think creatively too.”
During the pandemic, Credit Suisse observed that there was an “explosion of wealth” amongst the world’s richest people – in fact, the number of people with more than US$50 million in assets climbed to a record high in 2021 (218,200 globally including almost 3,000 billionaires). Although many countries are facing a short-term cost-of-living crisis, and there is a worldwide recession forecast, as we have seen from the Covid-19 crisis, the most privileged people are usually able to carry on as normal – or even benefit from a downturn. With this in mind, Pelorus and Globetrender predict that demand for luxury travel will be healthier than ever over the next five years. In fact, with millionaires and billionaires being made every day (especially in Asia, which will be a huge outbound source market), there will be no better time to cater to the elite and their offspring.
First off, Pelorus looks at Gen Alpha Design and the significance of this youthful demographic as passive consumers who rely on their parents to spend on their behalf. In addition, they explore High-Impact Conservation, Clean Tech Expedition, Ocean Exploration, Meta Previews, Grand Tours and Gamma Destinations and the experiences to back them up.
Up until recently, the luxury travel industry has been largely focused on catering to Millennials (Gen Y), but now that many of them have become parents to Gen Alpha, their needs are changing. Not only are Millennials the most traveled generation on Earth but a large proportion of them are exploring the world with their offspring, which means Gen Alpha Design will increasingly take precedence when it comes to vacation planning.
By 2027, Generation Alpha will be aged between two and 16, which means luxury travel companies have a huge opportunity to recalibrate their offerings to better cater to this youthful demographic and their Gen Y parents. It’s also worth noting that a growing number of parents are now part of the LGBTQ+ community as well as solo parenting. Hospitality companies need to challenge their assumptions of what a modern family looks like and what their needs are.
Pelorus believes in the power of travel as a force for good but tokenistic actions that make people feel less guilty about their impact on the planet are not helpful. Over the next five years, they anticipate growing demand for High-Impact Conservation from high-net-worth clients who really want to make a difference. Not only do they want to actively learn about the flora and fauna of Earth, but they also want to ensure that their presence contributes to its preservation, protection and future flourishing.
As the world faces a crisis of human-made consequences with habitat destruction, biodiversity loss and climate change, there is a growing sense of urgency to not only undo some of this damage but to witness wildlife and places of outstanding natural beauty that could one day be gone forever. For discerning high-net-worth travelers who are no longer impressed by gold taps and caviar, “luxury” has taken on new meaning. With scarcity always integral to its definition, it makes sense that “luxury” is becoming associated with exploring remote wildernesses or tracking rare animals. After all, what greater privilege could there be?
CASE STUDY: PELORUS FOUNDATION - BLUE CARBON
Established in 2020, Pelorus Foundation is a conservation charity with a mission to protect, preserve and promote “at risk” wildlife and environments by supporting communities on the front line of conservation. As an independent charity, Pelorus Foundation has its own dedicated team and board of trustees. Their conservation projects are funded through a variety of channels including donations from individuals, corporate support, trust funding and fundraising from events and charities.
Enhancing its commitment to planetary good further still, in July 2022, the Pelorus Foundation announced its new Climate Investment Fund, an initiative that seeks to address the problem of travel emissions head-on, in partnership with officially verified and certified carbon removal project partners. To help combat the damaging effect of greenhouse gasses, the foundation is currently working with forest and soil carbon removal technologies and initiatives, by utilizing the world’s ocean and coastal ecosystems.
Over the next few years and beyond, high-net-worth explorers will increasingly be avoiding over-crowded “Alpha Destinations” such as Machu Picchu in Peru, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Uluru in Australia and famous peaks such as Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro. With China likely reopening in 2023, opening the flood- gates to a vast outbound travel market, as well as the rise of the middle classes in Asia (by 2030, 13% of Singaporeans are expected to be millionaires), competition to see the world’s most recognisable destinations (spurred on by social media promotion) will become fierce. Even “Beta Destinations” such as Bhutan, Rwanda and Antarctica will start to become overly busy at certain times of year.
Pelorus has always been a leader in seeking out the “rare” and “extraordinary” so is well-placed to cater to the rising demand for new discoveries. As luxury travelers dream of even more extreme adventures, there is a greater opportunity to devise trips to emerging Gamma Destinations that offer an array of entirely new experiences. For the worldly wealthy who have “seen it all before”, there will be a growing appetite to see previously unheard of or overlooked countries. There will even be a thirst among a particularly curious minority to set foot in new frontier destinations such as Socotra in Yemen.
- CASE STUDY: SAUDI ARABIA -
By 2030, Saudi Arabia plans to become a major international tourism destination, with an ambitious target of 100 million inbound visitors per year. This will be no mean feat for a Gamma Destination that only began issuing tourist visas in 2019 – and since autumn 2022, people from the UK, US and EU have been able to easily get one on arrival.
Central to the country’s transformation will be a slew of mind-blowing “giga projects” (such as “smart city” Neom) that will firmly put Saudi Arabia on the map as an emerging luxury travel destination. And with the help of partnerships with key travel companies such as Pelorus, who believe in the power of tourism as a force for good, travelers from around the world will soon be able to discover that this multifaceted destination offers so much more than they assumed.
From next year, a major draw will be the Red Sea Project, which is already well underway. The first resorts to debut will be from Rosewood and Ritz-Carlton Reserve. By the end of 2023, there will be a total of 16 hotels representing every major luxury brand, from Six Senses, Edition and St Regis to SLS, Fairmont and Raffles. Providing easy access to the destination, the Red Sea International airport will also be opening in a matter of months. Local airline Saudia is also planning to operate flights from Neom to London.
Even though oceans cover about 70 percent of the Earth, only 10 percent of these vast bodies of water have ever been explored by humans. For the wealthy, experiencing the freedom and beauty of life above the waves on superior sailing vessels and superyachts provides the ultimate antidote to the stresses of modern life. Not only that but delving beneath the surface opens up a window to another world, especially with the help of new technology in the form of state-of-the-art private submersibles that can allow aquatic explorers to explore the wreck of the Titanic ship, for example. Off the coast of Kea in the Greek Cyclades Islands, Pelorus can organize a submarine to view the Titanic’s “twin sister”, The Britannic, up close.
It’s not just shipwrecks that are waiting to be uncovered. Echoing the great sailing voyages of yore, intrepid travelers will increasingly be investing in explorer yachts to take them to off-the-beaten-track locations (such as Alaska, Raja Ampat and Vanuatu), away from the usual showy hotspots in the Med and Caribbean.
Virtual reality has been around for years but with the dawn of the metaverse (driven by companies such as Meta, formerly Facebook), not only is consumer uptake expected to increase but so will the diversity of its applications. The metaverse may still be in its infancy but innovative travel companies such as Pelorus are already noticing how virtual reality can be used, not as a way to replace travel but to sell it. Mark Zuckerberg says: “The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence – like you are right there with another person or in another place.” When it comes to putting together ambitious itineraries, being able to offer a Metaverse Preview will help boost confidence among high-spending clients.
By enabling prospective travelers to immerse themselves in a 360-degree version of the place they are considering going to, they can essentially “try before they buy”. And when customers are spending large amounts of money on trips, this kind of technology will help ensure they are never disappointed. For an industry such as travel which centers on “real life” experiences and is historically slow to adopt new technology, it might seem unnatural to be looking deeply into a space that is purely digital. However, when looking at specific use cases, the rise of virtual worlds opens up many new opportunities for operators to build closer relationships with their customers and service them in more meaningful or inspirational ways.
This could be via virtual travel consultancy sessions that feel much more intimate, to providing an avatar-led tour of a remote hotel or location, delivered through a VR headset. When Apple debuts its forthcoming VR/AR headset in 2023, this will likely be a game- changer. In the meantime, Meta announced pre-sales of its new “mixed reality” headset – Meta Quest Pro – in October 2022.
Over the next five years and beyond, Pelorus will be investing in companies and kits that help minimize the environmental impact of getting from A to B, especially in wilderness locations. With the emergence of various forms of emission-free electric transport – both on the ground and in the air – luxury travelers will soon find they are able to avail of a fleet of new Clean Tech toys on their adventure. What this means is that, finally, there will be tangible ways to make journeys more sustainable, allowing responsible travelers to align their beliefs with their behavior.
A huge amount of innovation is already happening in the “clean mobility” space, including the development of “sustainable aviation fuel” (SAF) that can be made from the likes of used cooking fats, algae or (controversially) palm oil. (Palm trees are often planted in place of rainforests.) Many airlines such as British Airways, Emirates and United are investing in SAF, and when Boom Supersonic brings back planes that can fly faster than the speed of sound before the end of the decade, they will be powered by SAF too. For those flying privately, jet charter company Victor is leading the way by enabling customers to buy SAF, via a partnership with Finnish oil refining company Neste. We will also see the debut of entirely new modes of emission-free transport such as the Virgin Hyperloop train, stratospheric balloon flights from Space Perspective and even airships from OceanSky Cruises.
- CASE STUDY: OCEANSKY CRUISES -
Recognizing the dawn of emission-free flight, Pelorus is partnering with Swedish company OceanSky Cruises, which will launch aerial Clean Tech Expeditions from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, to the North Pole aboard next-generation Airlander 10 airships. (Tickets will go on sale in 2023.) Built by Hybrid Air Vehicles in the UK, zero-emission aircraft will be filled with lift-giving helium gas which is lighter than air, and powered by four propellers, allowing the airship to fly continuously for days. With no need for a runway, it will be able to take off and land almost anywhere – hence its suitability for remote locations such as the Arctic.
Inside, OceanSky Cruises’ airships will be fitted like a luxury hotel with spacious cabins featuring large panoramic windows that maximize the view from the beds. Capable of carrying 16 passengers, guests will be served Arctic-inspired cuisine by an award-winning chef. As the cabin isn’t pressurized, the flight will be peaceful and quiet, and because it drifts along slowly, there will be no need for seat belts.
Back in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it was customary for upper-middle-class men to embark on Grand Tours of Europe that would function as a culturally enriching “rite of passage”. In the post- Covid era, extended, multi-destination itineraries will boom, giving top-end travel providers such as Pelorus the opportunity to tailor highly personalized, complex agendas that would be almost impossible to design oneself. While air travel will always be a necessity, there will also be demand for luxurious forms of ground transport – be it glamorous, old-world train journeys aboard the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, which is being reborn in 2025, or radical road trips in the forthcoming Tesla Cybertruck, which could be ready for mass production as soon as 2023.
American road trips are a particular area of focus for Pelorus, and the US is the ideal location for a Grand Tour as it allows travelers to see more and explore areas previously overlooked. Travelers can journey between various national parks without being constrained by the availability and/or low standard of properties. Alongside the RV, they can also utilize luxury camp set ups to stay off-grid and explore the wide open spaces. Pelorus has extensive experience of operating these trips courtesy of its exceptional support teams. Hosting seamless journeys, Pelorus takes care of the logistics and provisions behind the scenes, allowing clients to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
Find the full Luxury Travel & Yachting Report available in PDF here or online here. Recently announced are Pelorus’ top experiences for 2023. The team has designed fourteen once-in-a-lifetime experiences for travelers to see the world in a different way incorporating citizen science, exploring deeper into remote and lesser-traveled destinations, and exclusive-use accommodations such as yachts, villas, luxury mobile camps, and private chalets.
Pelorus is the ultimate experiential travel company, designing tailormade travel and yachting experiences in extraordinary places across the globe. Founders, Geordie Mackay-Lewis and Jimmy Carroll are ex British Army and bring their experience leading British reconnaissance units on long-range desert patrols and helicopter operations to their truly custom trips. The knowledge and skills they forged during these years lay the foundations upon which Pelorus is built. They endeavor to meet clients’ wildest aspirations using their global network of contacts and an extensive level of research. In a time when genuine escape is hard to find, Pelorus is taking a new and exciting approach to the travel and yachting sectors.