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Sustainable Travel 2021 – A Review

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The awareness around sustainability has increased significantly, especially about regional tourism, which is a point that Kristin Vogel, head of Marketing Mawell Resort Langenburg, notes. Guests are (re)discovering their home countries and the many great things they offer. This is reflected by more extended stays and a greater interest in regionality.

‘A strong increase in demand for vegetarian and vegan alternatives and regional and seasonal dishes is noticeable in the restaurant sector,’ adds Vanessa Baumann, Marketing & Sales Mawell Resort.

Tammy Gan has also seen more plant-based dishes and healthier options. The marketing communication manager of Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives said: ‘More and more guests are travelling with a stronger social and sustainable awareness. For example, they stay longer in one place and make fewer trips per year.’

Marion Müller from the Lifestylehotel SAND on the Baltic Sea does not believe that the pandemic has dramatically changed the awareness of sustainability among her target group but has strengthened it. However, due to the travel restrictions, there was also demand from guests who are not normally concerned about sustainability.

Domestic tourism on the rise

Travel restrictions and an increased need for safety have made many people prefer to holiday in their own country. Ilona Jeckelmann, Project & marketing manager of CERVO Mountain Resort in Zermatt, is pleased to increase awareness that one’s homeland has a lot to offer, as has the appreciation of local products and crafts.

Fabienne Anthamatten, the Hotel Bella Vista Zermatt hostess, confirms this: ‘Most of our guests are currently Swiss. And there, we notice that there is a great appreciation for our sustainable thinking and actions in the business. However, we are explicitly appealing to sustainably-minded guests with our offer. We very much hope that 2022 will allow even more international tourists to find their way to Zermatt.’

Local guests’ high appreciation for sustainable accommodation has also given Schloss Wartegg on Lake Constance many bookings. Richard Butz is sure that in the coming year, too, the hotel will be filled primarily by domestic tourists who value a safe and personalised journey, the hotel’s hygiene concept, the beautiful nature and good, healthy food. The hotel is therefore currently hiring more staff. With a spacious marquee planned for aperitifs and small celebrations, Schloss Wartegg will also continue to provide an alternative to indoor celebrations in the long term.

Wellness & health were the winners of the year

The high demand for people to switch off and take some time out for themselves has led to enormous popularity in wellness and healthcare offers. Natural cosmetics, soothing massages, yoga and fasting offers were very well booked by all Green Pearls partners at the end of the year.

Fabienne Anthamatten is therefore delighted that the Hotel Bella Vista was able to expand its wellness area during 2021: ‘With the addition of our Arvenstube with waterbeds, the Alpine Spa Bella Vita is now complete and geared towards nature-conscious guests seeking relaxation.’ The Naturresort Schindelbruch also appeals to this clientele with its brand new Landresidenz, including four private spa suites.

The Berghotel Rehlegg also boasts an update: the hotel has used the lockdown period to develop its herbal cosmetics line. These are produced in-house under the strict conditions of the European Cosmetics Regulation. For the health of their guests, all mattresses in the hotel were also replaced. Every room now has Hästens mattresses made entirely from sustainably sourced natural materials.

High demand for personalise offers

Holidays in your own holiday home or apartment: the trend of living the day according to your rhythm and being independent of predefined hotel structures has strengthened in 2021. According to our Green Pearls partners, it will continue to do so in 2022.

Whether in front of an impressive mountain panorama, as with the Summit Lodges Pfunds and the holiday apartments of The Peak Sölden furnished in stylish alpine style or the original holiday home complex MANOAH Häuser am See in Thüringen. The demand, especially for high-quality accommodation that fits authentically into its surroundings and offers a natural experience, is growing strongly.

Günter Beer from the Pou de Glac holiday home near the French border and the Costa Brava notes: ‘We were able to realise our vision of sustainably built accommodation in the middle of nature and have already noticed after the first few months in operation that we have hit our mark. Our guests not only appreciate the secluded location and the historical ambience of the former estate but are also very interested in our sustainable energy concept and the environmentally friendly restoration works.’

Some Green Pearls hotel partners offer separate accommodation units on the hotel grounds, such as the Hotel Sturm in the Rhoen Mountains with its kitchen house in the middle of the hotel garden or the SCHWARZWALD PANORAMA, which also focus on the trending topic of individuality and independence.

Stephan Bode, managing director of the SCHWARZWALD PANORAMA, confirms the high number of reservations of the self-sufficient accommodation units next to the main hotel and adds: ‘The demand for our flats was extremely high this year. Of course, we notice that guests still like to take advantage of the hotel’s offers and want to be pampered in the wellness area or the restaurant.’

Sustainability also scores in the luxury segment

The fact that pampering and individuality go hand in hand is also evident in the luxury segment. Offers such as the LENI MOUNTAIN Chalet in Sölden, which includes its natural swimming pond, sauna area and concierge service, or the villas of the Keemala on Phuket with their pool were very well booked in 2021 – for as long as travel restrictions allowed.

Tamm Gan from the sustainable luxury resort Gili Lankansfushi in the Maldives says: ‘Because of the ongoing pandemic, we have noticed that the demand for holiday destinations with open spaces has increased significantly. We have also seen that more and more families are booking together with us travelling together but wanting to stay separately. However, some individual travellers want to escape the stress of their everyday lives who have increasingly returned to enjoy what we have to offer.’

‘We were able to score points this year, especially with the resort’s generous space, plenty of privacy and our ‘Mindful Luxury’ concept. For our conscious interaction with nature and individual offers, we have received a lot of encouragement and were able to record an excellent booking situation, especially in summer,’ explains Denis Martin, general manager of the 5 stars Maslina Resort on the Croatian island of Hvar.

Trust and authenticity convince in all areas

Guests of all sustainable accommodations appreciate the transparency of services, the appreciation of nature and social togetherness. Kristin Okelmann from the eco-hotel Okelmann’s is also of this opinion and summarises the development as follows: ‘More and more guests who are very interested in sustainability and have a corresponding lifestyle are coming to stay with us.’

‘In 2022, a proper hygiene and safety concept, a responsible approach to the pandemic, sustainability and individuality will continue to count. Nature, tranquillity and short travel distances have played a large role this year and will continue to do so next year.’

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