Vacation season is upon us—but so is a global pandemic. The tourism industry's solution? Long-term quarantine retreats.
As consumers across the world adapt to working in their homes and living in their offices, the need for an escape is more prevalent than ever. For those with higher disposable incomes, the option to vacate to sunnier climes and secluded spaces is more feasible—and with offices shut for the foreseeable future, who’s to say they can’t stay there longer? Latching onto the opportunity to reinvigorate tourism, luxury hotels and destinations are rebranding as semi-permanent home offices.
On July 2, 2020, the Barbados government announced a plan to offer a 12 month visa option for tourists who visit the island in the hopes of revamping their tourism industry. The visa would allow tourists to holiday and even work remotely from the island for a whole year, enjoying all the country has to offer—from luxury resorts to white sand beaches. The move speaks to the global nomad trend we identified in The Future 100: 2018, which was formerly attached to affluent millennials but is now evolving for the masses.
Raffles in Singapore is also attracting the working tourist. The five-star hotel is opening up their State room suites to corporate client members as workspaces for those opting to WFH (Work from Hotel) for discounted rates. The suites are available from 7am-7pm with full butler service, gym use and access to their library at $209 per day.
In Mexico, luxury resort Esencia Riviera is encouraging guests to extend their stays. Tourists can book stays up to 30 days long, sheltering in place on the spacious beachfront property. Some guests who are currently there have even prolonged their stays indefinitely until the pandemic dies down. The hotel, which has a reputation for being a go-to hideaway for celebrities, offers 43 rooms across 50 acres of tranquil open-air space and access to premium spa and gym facilities at a minimum charge of $1,000 per night.
For those looking for the ultimate luxury escape, the 7-star private island of Kokomo is now available for a full island buy-out. Pitched as the perfect isolation bubble, the island can hold up to 140 guests across five luxury residencies and 21 beachfront villas. Guests have access to an array of activities like waterfall hikes, shark diving and coral reef restoration with an on-site marine biologist—at the grand cost of $150,000 per night.
If a private island is still too crowded, luxury escapists may prefer the seclusion of a yacht. Fraser Yachts, a company that sells and charters yachts, reports that some clients have been isolating on boats in the middle of the Caribbean during lockdown. “A yacht is a destination in itself, and this year many clients are enjoying spending more time on board and less on land, and opting for quieter destinations,” Fraser Yachts CEO Raphael Sauleua tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. “Many owners see their yacht as an extension of their home—they feel safe for long stretches on board with the whole family. The crisis has given people unexpected time with their families and it’s made a lot of us realize that family and friends are ultimately what life is all about.”
With the pandemic blurring the lines between home, office and travel, brands and businesses have a unique opportunity to redefine what the new luxury vacation looks like, catering to both work and relaxation.
Main image of Hotel Esencia, courtesy of Tanveer Bad