TREND: Travelers Will Hunger for the Wildest, Most Remote Nature in 2021–Here’s Why 

Many global surveys have shown how people flocked to the healing power of nature during the pandemic, seeking the socially distanced great outdoors as never before. National parks were crushed, hiking and camping equipment sold out, and hundreds of travel articles were devoted to “finding the most remote nature destinations in Place X.”
In wellness travel, the rustic treehouse property deep in nature has been beating out the gilded, dripping-with-luxury-amenities resort palace for years now, but the coronavirus experience has pushed the nature-worshipping trend to a whole new level. Our trend, “The Great Travel Reset,” explains how this long year has “thrown firewood on the blaze already ignited by forest-bathing and the movement by some medical doctors to prescribe time in the woods to patients seeking stress and anxiety relief.” 
Travelers will continue to seek wild nature in the next year, and the long-term nature tourism explosion is being fueled by quickening research: It seems that every week there is a new study on the eye-opening impact that time in nature has on physical and mental wellbeing. And the research is getting less generic, with recent studies, for instance, showing the unique power that “blue space”—time near oceans, rivers and lakes­—has on health. As a result, the medical industry is paying more attention to vitamin N (nature-as-medicine). As a professor of environmental science at Stanford recently put it, “There’s an urgent need emerging in science…to increase the nature experience. This field is just exploding. The pandemic…has galvanized doctors and researchers to tap into nature’s therapeutic effects.” At the psychological level, there also seems to be something profound going on: With environmental disaster looming, our ache for nature often seems almost elegiac, even obsessional. 
Economist Thierry Malleret has recently argued that the post-pandemic era will see the rise of an entire “nature economy,” marked by new ways of monetizing nature across commercial sectors. A new nature economy is certainly rising fast in travel. There are so many moves at both the mainstream and luxury ends, and some of the highest-profile property openings are making nature the core brand. To meet the nature tourism surge, Airbnb just launched a “Rural Bootcamp” program to get countryside communities to open up their homes to global nature-seekers and start-up Hipcamp, which lets travelers book Airstream trailers, tents, cabins and treehouses on private land, aims to be the “Airbnb of the outdoors.”
Awe-inducing nature is the focus of many of the hottest new property openings 
If studies show that awe-evoking nature (e.g., spectacular waterfalls or mountains) has more powerful mental wellness effects than time in “mundane” nature, new properties seem to be following the science—thinking beyond the tame property gardens and launching more awesome nature design and experiences, from waterfall bathing to ice hiking. (A “natural awe” smackdown is underway.) The spectacular new Arctic Bath in Sweden is literally suspended in an icy river in remote Lapland, and authentic wilderness excursions are guided by the indigenous, semi-nomadic Sámi people. Amangiri’s new Camp Sarika in Utah is just 10 astounding canvas pavilions set within the wild beauty of 600 acres abutting five national parks. 
If our trend predicts a wider shift from manic to slower travel, overtourism will experience a little city-to-country flip. We’ll see manic travel to nature destinations this summer, with parks and campgrounds expected to get slammed. So, if we all celebrate the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, embracing outdoor life and nature, the world will need to start embracing Sweden’s laws called allemansrätten, which mandate a “don’t disturb and don’t destroy” mantra toward natural spaces that’s taught to Swedes since they are young. On these last days of Earth Month, more nations and destinations need to commit to such regulations and policies. 

This is from the “The Year of the Travel Reset” trend in the 2021 Global Wellness Trends Report.

Summit Trends in the News

How We’ll Travel in 2021Financial Times
Predicts the big travel trends for 2021: from the boom in adventures close to home to long workcations. A key trend: a surge in remote retreats deep in nature, from more safari-style wilderness camps (such as Under Canvas in the US) to an uptick in interest in some of the world’s most sparsely populated, wide-open places, such as Namibia, Botswana and Nova Scotia. Also looks at how “slow,” meandering walking/hiking pilgrimages are rising fast. 
Nature, Wellness, And Giving Back Are Trending For 2021 TravelForbes

Looks at the various ways that “wellness” is essentially the travel trend this year, with surveys and experts indicating that “space to breathe is the new luxury” and how 2021 travel is all all about “nature, nature, nature”—with private and remote destinations “booking like crazy.”
How Safari Travel in Africa Is Bouncing BackNational Geographic

One example of the hunger for nature-seeking travel as people dip their toes back in: a recent recovery for African safaris. Amazing new safari lodges in Botswana, Namibia, Kenya and South Africa are offering zero crowds and endless wilderness. The safari is the perfect model for now: You spend almost no time indoors, and African destinations/tours are meeting the desire for the “holiday in a bubble”—with private transport, lodges and guides just for your pod. African nations have deep experience with health crises, and many have been among the most aggressive with strict entry/testing protocols. 
Wellness in the Wild: Five Incredible Nature-Based Breaks for 2021Telegraph

This is just one of a storm of recent articles that call out new nature-first destinations and programs—from the new Eleven Life at Taylor River Lodge at Colorado, where it’s all about creative nature experiences (from high-adrenaline ice hiking to forest bathing), to the new Wild Wellness Retreat at Scotland’s Gleneagles resort, with waterfall bathing and star-gazing. 
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