Start your travels a step ahead of the rest

TRAVEL TRENDS

2021

01

#1 a new appreciation for conservation

One silver lining of the world coming to a standstill has been the dramatically positive effect on wildlife and the natural world. Driven by the need for climate action and inspired by the unprecedented regeneration of wildlife worldwide, the travel industry has responded by putting conservation and eco-travel first. And it’s not just about observing. It’s about participating, too.

“Across the board, there’s a need for space, for distance, and an acute focus on extraordinary, remote destinations and accommodation enveloped by the natural world”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

In Costa Rica, you’ll be able to meet scientists at Proyecto Assist and contribute to research on sloth conservation, as well participating in coral reef regeneration through Bahia Culebra’s Coral Reef Propagation Project at the Four Seasons Papagayo. We also believe that travellers will select their destinations more carefully, paying closer attention to things like social and environmental responsibility.

02

#2 Low & slow

Destinations are important. But so is the journey, the ‘how’ of travel. And in 2021, we believe that you’ll be taking fewer internal flights and taking your time. We call this ‘low and slow’ - travelling on the ground and doing it serenely. Cars, trains, feet and bicycles are coming back. This is about dwelling in a location, and really drinking it in. It’s about appreciating the gentle transformations of a landscape as it comes into being.

Here’s an example: like the newly opened Vietage train that’ll be rolling through central Vietnam next year. In Sicily, we’re seeing travellers ask about doing it all in pieces and parts, with cars, hikes, and bicycles rides. When we go away, we don’t want to feel hurried or shoved. We want to be more like a sponge. We want to absorb.

“Over the past months, we have been inspired by the virtues of slower, more purposeful experiences rather than quick, jam-packed, tick-box long weekends. We also envisage people to look for opportunities for more meaningful connections”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

03

#3 Make it count

With a vaccine now within reach, we want to make our 2021 trips really count. With deep, meaningful, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that’ll we’ll remember forever, and even be changed by. Not being able to travel – and having our plans cancelled – reinforced just how important it really is. And to mark this renewed realisation, we’ll be seeking ways to really make an impression. To leave a mark.

Some of us will be visiting destinations and contributing to long-term conservation. They’ll embed themselves. Others will linger for longer, spending up to a month in another places. Learning it from the inside out. Developing new skills. Making time for a mental and physical reset. It’s why we launched Bring it Back, helping you to ‘use’ travel as a way of answering life’s big questions. In 2021, we’ll be regrouping, and we’ll be redefining.

“The desire to travel has never been more tangible — and we know from past intel and current desire that extraordinary U.S. road trips are what people are craving”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

USA

04

#4 In search of lost time

During 2020, we took time to consider how we can make up for the trips we’d missed out on. Naturally, many of us are going to be chasing the highs in 2021 with huge, jaw-dropping encounters and experiences. The stuff you’ve always wanted to do but always held off.

It’s why we created Journeys to Come, our epic series of awe-inspiring trips for the world after lockdown. Swim with humpback whales beneath Iceland’s midnight sun. Meet the gorillas of Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park. Sail down the Nile on a historic Dahabiya. The world is yours.

Such as? The greatest sunset in Diablo Canyon, New Mexico. Skiing under the Northern Lights in Norway’s Lyngen Alps. Or partying at the villa of a renowned chef in Argentina. For a long time, we’ve been filling our bucket lists. And now we’re looking forward to ticking them off.

“With Journeys to Come, we’ve created trips that you’ll remember for a lifetime. It’s the perfect way to re-engage with the world after the ravages and restrictions of Covid-19”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

05

#5 Return to the familiar

What we’ve realised is that travel in 2021 needs to be both flawless and familiar. We want to return to places we know and places we love. And we even want to find comfort, a touch of the known, in places that are new to us. A moment recalled is an experience, a feeling, regained.

“The reality is we are overscheduled and overly stimulated in our working lives, so when it comes to travel, it’s critical to carve out time and space to simply be there”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

For example, a journey to Andorra will appeal to those who’ve had a particularly memorable experience in the Basque region of Spain; for others, Hydra is ideal for a couple who’ve spent a memorable week in Santorini on their honeymoon. After a year of turmoil, there’s a joy to be found in the warm embrace of what we already know.

USA

06

#6 Remote Travel

As Covid lockdowns lifted, we’ve all been craving destinations and experiences that are socially distant by design. Many of you have already embarked on trips to private and deeply hidden locations, seeking time to rest and space to reset.

Whatever your motivation for striking out for somewhere remote, our upcoming Anti-pollution map (launching in 2021) filters different kinds of pollution (sound, light, and air), revealing where in the world you can go to find the cleanest, quietest, darkest escapes to contribute to your mindfulness and well-being. Here’s an example: the coast of Jura, Scotland, where we’ve created a UK version of our Get Lost experience, sailing to a private island for wilderness survival training and ending with a stay at a stunning exclusive-use estate.

“After months of lockdown and restrictions, we’re seeking wide open spaces and unfamiliar places”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

USA

07

#7 Friends in nice places

Given the hardships of the last year, many of us are desperate to reconnect with our loved ones in spectacular and special ways. Isolation and separation have been hard on all of us. But now, in 2021, that means we’ll be setting off on multigenerational adventures and family getaways, coming together and forging new traditions. And what better way to do this than booking an entire villa, hotel or private island.

This is precisely why we created our Space + Time service, meaning it’s easier than ever to create the perfect ‘bubble’ getaway, steering clear of cities and crowds, and creating a nest into which we can settle down. As the world became ‘remote’, we realised that we could exist almost anywhere we want. A Caribbean island. A Norwegian archipelago. A Kenyan safari camp.

Space + Time helps you to set up a ‘home away from home’, albeit in some of the most beautiful places in the world”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

USA

08

#8 Run of the city

After a historically difficult year, 2021 will be the perfect time to experience cities in a very different way. Less busy, less crowded, with iconic sights revealed in all their majesty. Setting off to explore the world’s greatest cities after Covid will be a lot different from years past, especially given the city’s unique ability to regenerate and reinvent themselves during hard times and difficult conditions.

We’ll all find new thrills, even in cities we think we know. Walking tours, ‘slow’ transport. A chance to soak it up and soak it in. Rome, Rio, Tokyo, New York and Paris are all up there. And this time we can drink them in without our views being distracted. Finally, we can live as the locals do. So now is the time to return to the city, with open arms and open eyes. At last, the city is new.

“We’ve understandably been steering clear of cities over the past months. But with things returning slowly to normal, we can begin to embrace the things we’ve missed. Of restaurants, skylines, galleries and museums”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

09

#9 Ports in the storm

While the idea of travelling again is exciting, Covid has added significantly more red tape and complication to the planning process. It can be quite overwhelming. It’s why so many travellers are turning away from big booking sites and requesting the care and attention of travel advisors (like us). At Black Tomato, we have teams of experts who really, really know their stuff, be it a destination, type of experience, or the travel industry itself.

USA

“We spend a lot of our resources on product development, and we work tirelessly to unearth never-before-discovered experiences that will resonate with clients based on their individual passions and obsessions. This is really what it means to plan with an expert”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

USA

And in order to help clients feel confident and safe in their decisions, we introduced State of Flex, a guarantee that you can cancel your booking for a full refund up to 30 days before departure with just a 10% deposit. It is this kind of reassurance that helps travellers know that whatever you decide, your booking is safe with us.

Tom Marchant Profile Image
TOM MARCHANT Black Tomato co-founder

Tom Marchant is the co-founder of award-winning, tailormade luxury travel company Black Tomato. Recognised as an innovator and leading authority in the industry, Tom founded Black Tomato in 2005 with the aim of creating a business that reflected the needs and personalities of clients for whom the existing travel market offered nothing unique.

BLACK TOMATO

Since 2005, Black Tomato have created immersive, luxurious, and personalised trips across the world for their network of discerning and worldly travellers. Each Black Tomato itinerary is tailored expertly for the traveller at hand, placing an emphasis on the rare, the undiscovered, and the truly authentic.