Where next? We ask industry figures about their future travel plans
With travel on hold and the country at home, it’s only natural that we begin thinking to our future adventures. We asked people from across the industry where in the world they wanted to go once restrictions and bans are lifted and international travel eventually resumes.
Mark Duguid, managing director of Carrier
I’m still crossing my fingers that I’ll get to Greece this summer. It’s my usual island-hopping trip to the Cyclades; each year to new islands and the annual holiday I cherish most.
Amorgos and Astypalea are earmarked this year - these islands are off the beaten track and have a very short season so, should my trip go ahead, visiting and spending my cash in the few local tavernas and bakeries are sure to take on extra resonance.
Priti Mehta, senior director of sales at Oceania Cruises
Next on my list is Uganda. I had planned to travel there as part of my big birthday celebration, but sadly for many reasons this has been put on hold. It’s where I was born and I grew up listening to my parents talking about places, landmarks and the adventures they had growing up there. Of course, the wildlife is also high on my list of reasons to travel there and being able to see gorillas in their natural habitat has been on my bucket list – I’ve focussed so many of my travel plans around being able to see wildlife, yet ironically never yet been on a safari. I guess for me this is personal - an opportunity to follow in my parents footsteps and see places through their eyes.
Mark Swords, owner of Swords Travel
Lockdown has given us time to plan and already we’ve got some highlights planned for the latter part of the year. First up we are heading out to Miami for a five-night cruise with Virgin Voyages incorporating Costa Maya & The Bahamas, plus I’ve always wanted to stay at Faena in Miami so this will be our post-cruise stay. Then in December we’re heading to Australia for a month! The original plan was to see Southern Ocean Lodge, however after the sad news of the Australian fires, we now plan to head north east and hopefully over to Hamilton Island to stay at Qualia – each time we go to Oz we try to tick off another luxury lodge!”
Clare Levy of Different Planet Travel
I feel like a child in a candy shop who has been denied sweets for weeks to be told I can have anything I like…. my mind is racing with so many options. Where would I travel to immediately when it is a safer world again? I have been dreaming of a beautiful property in Lecce called La Fiermontina.
It was already top of my list in Italy before this started and even more so now. Italy has long been an absolute favourite of mine and to see it so hard hit is soul destroying SO… number one on my long list is the stunning property La Fiermontina. I had an epic trip to Oman planned too for this April and was gutted to miss it. This is high on my list to re-create the trip when we can travel again. Then anywhere I can take my family for epic amounts of fun. I have postponed my Princess Yaiza trip to next year so keep your fingers crossed we can go as they have been wonderful to deal with and the kids deserve some joy.
Kuoni boss Derek Jones
I was due to go to South Africa with the family – the full-on safari, garden route, wine lands and Cape Town itinerary – for two weeks over Easter. We’ve been promising ourselves the trip for years and finally got round to booking it… then it was scuppered by lockdown.
As soon as this is over we’ll be booking again!
Lisa Fitzell, managing director of Elegant Resorts
My first trip would be to California as this what we had planned for Easter this year and my family and I are so sad that we had to postpone. We are hoping we can still go later this year and explore San Francisco, go on a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, taste wines in Napa Valley, visit Lake Tahoe and hike in Yosemite and stay at Rush Creek Lodge nestled in the woods. Carmel is also firmly on the itinerary with a stay at the incredible Carmel Valley Ranch and we will go whale watching. We will finish in beautiful Santa Monica with a night at the iconic Shutters on the Beach to end this trip in style.”
Kate Fenton, trade manager at Tourism New Zealand
I’m dreaming of being on the south coast (of England) given the good weather is kicking in. I’d usually head down to Devon at this time of year and get on the water - the scenery is spectacular. I discovered paddleboarding on fam trip to New Zealand a few year’s ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The country has endless SUP or kayak opportunities either on the ocean or one of its many incredible lakes, so a paddle will be the first thing I do post Lockdown.
Helen Dooley, owner of More Travel in Stamford
Last week I booked a Virgin Voyages cruise to Miami, visiting Puerto Plato and Bimini Beach Club – we go in October!
I’m still praying that we’ll get to our usual whole family holiday on the Dordogne in France in July - but I’m not convinced.
Ben Murtagh of Elegant Resorts
With the current coronavirus situation and ongoing travel ban, I, like countless others, have had to cancel and amend various fam trips, weekend escapes and holidays to later in the year or into 2021. One trip I have not yet amended and am incredibly excited about is my adventure in November to the breathtakingly beautiful Rwanda, known as the land of a thousand hills.
I’m looking forward to trip full of adventure and stays at the two stunning One&Only properties.
Shirley Brooke of GP Associates
Top of the list for me will be to go to Dublin and see my mum, dad and brother and his family. We will plan a meal at the Merrion in Dublin in the Garden Restaurant and have drinks in the Cellar Bar. Being separated from family is the saddest part of this and a Zoom call just doesn’t do it!
Michael Vance, head of sales and marketing at Perowne International
Absolute top of my list is Panama. When we return to travel again I want to explore somewhere completely new. Panama has a fascinating blend of culture, history, food, wildlife and raw natural beauty. We’re very lucky to work with a remarkable property called Islas Secas which I am yet to visit. A private archipelago of 14 islands, 20 miles off the wild Pacific coast of Panama welcoming a maximum of just 18 guests at any one time. Alongside incredible commitments to sustainability and stewardship, as well as being a great place to witness the annual migration of humpback whales, the level of hospitality is a game changer for this part of the world.