First there was experiential travel, which gave people the opportunity to connect with a destination and its people. Now, seasoned travellers want to go even further. Welcome to transformational travel.
So what does it mean? It’s travel that has the power to change you. Interaction with new cultures, appreciation of nature and time for self-reflection which allows travellers to come home with a new world view. For travellers who are willing to open themselves up to new experiences, the potential is endless.
Transformation is at the heart of the new Hayman Island by InterContinental resort, which will open in July after a $100 refurb. The resort is one of Australia’s most famous, but this new incarnation promises something different. “We understand that many of our travellers are looking for something ‘more’ from their travel experiences.,” says resort manager Mark Eletr. “We want to offer our guests the opportunity to immerse and go beyond during their stay; to learn about themselves, their companions, the unique island we are so lucky to be situated on and our stunning surrounds of the Whitsundays.”
A new range of experiences has been developed at the resort for travellers of all ages and personalisation is key. Children will learn about the reef and the importance of conservation at the kids club. The spa will offer holistic, immersive treatments that will soothe both body and mind. Eletr believes these experiences tap into a growing trend. “There is a rising tide of travellers who are educated, intelligent, inquisitive and socially connected,” he says. “These travellers are seeking excellence in experience across all scales from luxury to less-so. A large part of travel for them is unearthing those transformative experiences that transpire into unforgettable moments they can share with friends and family.”
Overall, transformational travel is about personal fulfilment. Travel intelligence company Skift called personal fulfilment ‘the new ultimate luxury’. People are empowered to make meaningful, lasting change in their lives. Travel operators must now position themselves as much more than providers of experiences. They can become essential elements in the creation of an improved self.
PC: InterContinental Hayman Island