The Salon Talk – The Future of Travel

After 2 years of the world not being able to travel abroad, people are exploring and seeking more unique, sustainable and stress-free experiences, according to Simon Leadsford, Publishing Director of Condé Nast, Traveller magazine who spoke at The Salon membership club’s breakfast talk at The Relais Henley on Monday.

Space travel, Metaverse (virtual travel) and sustainable community tourist developments are the exciting things on the way.  Simon said, “At £350K for space travel, you’ll need to have big pockets and it’s a lot of money just to enjoy caviar and oysters in the air. I think real life experiences will trump every time rather than virtual travel.”

With airlines still overselling and not enough staff, Simon’s go to travel product at the moment is the Apple tag for your suitcase so that you know where it is in the world or the airport terminal!

Small changes are coming in sustainability; hoteliers and entrepreneurs are listening and supporting nature and local people when they are building with many looking at being carbon neutral.  Travellers are also looking at more green ways to travel with many looking now at using trains rather than planes.

Simon ended the talk by saying, “The future of travel IS good and the opportunities opening are sensational and the choices we make will be responsible ones and fun ones.  At the end of the day we want to leave and have a magical experience.”

He then took questions from the audience.  One guest asked about the travel industry looking at ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and people being able to base their choices on this and knowing the impact when booking.  Simon commented, “In one hotel in Canada, you get a breakdown of your bill when you leave on who will benefit and what the money will be invested in to be sustainable and others are following.”  What would Simon’s last destination trip be if he could only choose one?  He replied ”A safari – which I’m going on to Botswana next month.”  His favourite hotel is a miss-mash of a few – Claridges for the theatrical lobby entrance, The Corinthia in London for the bedrooms, The Berkeley for the outdoor space and set in the location of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Rock in the South of France overlooking the Mediterranean.

The next The Salon event is on the evening of Wednesday 5 October starting at 6.30pm when the speakers will be Sarah Percy-Davis and Alex Hammersley from Hollandridge Group.  Over the years Sarah and Alex have built up an extensive database of paintings, photography, sculpture and drawings by artists from around the world. They will be exploring how collecting and investing in art has changed over the years, reviewing some of the art which has fetched the highest prices at auction and discussing the new trends emerging.

If you are interested in attending, please email salon@therelaisretreats.com

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