The third edition The Cinnamon Future of Tourism Virtual Conference took place on 14th July 2020 on the theme The Future of Luxury Travel, Challenges and Opportunities for Sri Lanka.
The third edition on its virtual platform was a thought-provoking discussion with renowned speakers known globally for their expertise in the industry including Divia Thani, Editor – Conde Nast Travel, Miguel Cunat, Chief Experience Officer – Sri Lanka in Style, Kelly Beckwith, Co-Founder & Director of The Asia Collective, Justin Wateridge, Managing Director -Steppe TravelLuxury Holidays, Harry Fowles, Member of International Travel Mart (ILTM) and moderated by – Dileep Mudadeniya, Head of Brand Marketing -Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts. Vice President, John Keells Holdings.
“Post COVID-19, experiencing new destinations will be purposeful, unique and personalized. The Luxury Traveller will seek wellness, scenic beauty and the need to be one with nature without a second glance at the price, for which Sri Lanka will be the ideal destination” stated Divia Thani, Editor Conde Nast Traveller, as she led the discussion with a broad definition of Luxury Travel. She elaborated further that as per research conducted by ‘Conde Nast Traveller’, Sri Lanka is identified as being amongst the best destinations to visit once the current situation subsides.
With the aim and necessity of being consistently relevant as a destination to travellers of this nature, Miguel Cunat, Chief Experience Officer, Sri Lanka in Style, emphasised on the importance of being innovative, “Luxury is a state of mind; style, authenticity and innovation play a large role to always be the top choice for a luxury traveller. Innovation by the means of personalized service, private access and bespoke experiences is pivotal to be recognized as a hospitality provider & a destination”.
Kelly Beckwith, Co-Founder & Director of The Asia Collective, shared her perspective on reaching out to the luxury traveller, having experience with Asia’s leading inspirational sources for luxury travel recommendations and Asia’s first influencer travel agency, “It’s vital to be creative and be easily identifiable to the traveller. A strong SEO is relevant for this purpose, to know what travellers are looking for and where they are looking to visit; with such insights, you can derive at a comprehensive marketing campaign. During these ambiguous times, enhancing your social media presence would be key, as the use of social media platforms have exceeded and planning your next trip is in the horizon for most luxury travellers”. She went on to explain current travel trends, leading from eco-friendly travel – the need to be a sustainable traveller and wellness tourism – the need to be revitalized and fit during a vacation, to be growing trends among all variants of travellers. “Travel is a privilege, it is an investment to the traveller and the destination” stated Justin Wateridge, Managing Director, Steppe Travel, Luxury Holidays agreeing with the current emerging trends. Post COVID-19 travel will be at large, hence addressing and adapting to trends of wellness and eco-friendly tourism will assist the destination and other service providers to cater to the high net-worth travellers.
Specifying on the unique offerings of Sri Lanka to the luxury traveller, Harry Fowles, Member of International Travel Mart (ILTM) stated, “Asia is a continent rich in history, each Asian destination has its own flavour which a luxury traveller devours. Sri Lanka has been identified as one of the top ten desirable destinations by ILTM, because of history, cultural values and charisma. An island which can toured within a week, is just one mere reason to resonate with a well healed traveller on a busy schedule.”
The third edition of The Cinnamon Future of Tourism Virtual Conference concluded with the hope of travel being in the horizon. Providing value and opportunity to travellers is in the hands of the destination.
A recording of the Conference is available on https://www.facebook.com/cinnamonhotels/videos/376170930028654
Cinnamon Future of Tourism 2020 is in partnership with Xiteb as the Official Digital Partner.