In this occasional series for Forbes, I talk to industry insiders and travel experts about their views on how we will travel in the months and years ahead, in light of the pandemic and its impact. The good news is the message is not all doom and gloom – companies are still getting enquiries for future bookings, resorts are busy putting plans in place to adhere with social distancing for short-term travel (yes, it is possible), and trends are being forecast which will see us search out more meaningful trips and ‘slower’ journeys where we can better connect with a destination, and give back to those who have been hardest hit. Could there be a new way of travelling which might actually be the making of us?
Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, a residential and golfing resort in the Algarve, Portugal, predicts the rise of adventure travel and the quest for meaningful time together: “Currently, people are exploring new things such as online yoga, meditation or virtual personal training and I think this is going to give people a more open-minded view about what they want their future holidays to look like,” he says.
“Guests are going to want to learn new things, experience a sense of adventure and appreciate what a family holiday together means. I think that people are going to use this pause, this time at home, for reflection. People are going to really think about the things they truly want to do, and those places to seem when this is all over.”
The resort says that, in the meantime, it is using this period of time to support local communities and, in conjunction with Quinta do Lago residents, has donated over €500,000 to local hospitals and the Algarve Biomedical Centre (ABC), the consortium which is leading many of the region’s initiatives to contain the pandemic. At its boutique Magnolia Hotel, it has also offered 100 complimentary hotel rooms to healthcare workers, and the resort is also offering all heath care and emergency service workers a complimentary coffee and breakfast every morning at its café and juice bar PURE.
“Along with the rest of the world, Quinta do Lago is experiencing the effects of this unprecedented time, but, as ever, our strength and optimism prevail,” says Moriarty. “All of us here, from our employees to residents, members and guests, are united in the common goal of protecting life and supporting one another.”