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  • Writer's pictureDina Aletras

Ethical travel 2020

Leading the charge are three billionaires: Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic, SpaceX from Elon Musk and Blue Origin created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Travelling into stratosphere ethically

2020 marks the beginning of a new decade, a century on from the roaring 20s, humankind has already achieved travel aspirations which could never have been dreamed of 100 years ago. The travel trends emerging at the start of this fresh new century are due to push our boundaries further than ever before. Caught between a slow travel movement, promoting transport which is increasingly ethical and less damaging to the planet and the race to space, 2020 is showing signs of being an incredible year for progressive travel.

To Infinity and Beyond

Travel has always had escapism at its core, but boundaries are being pushed further than ever. Technology is changing every area of the travel experience, examples include companies such as Biohax, the global leader in human microchip tech already successfully implanting over 4,000 devices. These can be used as a travel tickets or digital receivers and future plans even show potential use as replacements for passports. Emission-free flying is another huge new area of development and 2020 looks to be its most promising year yet, with Rolls-Royce planning the test flight of its first electric plane this year. Even easyJet are looking to the future with the aim of having a fleet of electric planes in place by 2030.

However, there are those whose aim is to not only get us across the planet as fast as possible via land and air but to offer commercially viable space travel. Leading the charge are three billionaires: Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic, SpaceX from Elon Musk and Blue Origin created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The space race is on to open up an entirely new world of travel which includes commercial sub-orbital flight and space hotels. Throughout human history only 536 people have ever been into space and just 12 have walked on the moon; 2020 looks set to change that with more than 600 people placing deposits for a Virgin Galactic flight, with tickets costing from £195,000 each. With Leonardo di Caprio and Justin Bieber already signed up, Virgin Galactic have reported 2020 will be the year for their first flight. Meanwhile Space X plans to take a Japanese billionaire around the moon in 2023 and Origin has cited 2020 as the year it could be inviting tourist to take a flight on its New Shepard suborbital rocket. Space tourism will undoubtedly spawn an incredible variation of accommodations and those so far under construction include inflatable space stations and luxury space hotel, the Aurora Station from Orion Span. The Von Braun Rotating Space Station, will boast bars, restaurants and even private residences for sale. The only question now is what to pack in your capsule wardrobe?

Responsible Travel

In steep contrast to intergalactic travel, the concept of flygskam or flight shaming is something which has gained popularity over the last two years and came heavily into the spotlight thanks to Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Prompting a focus on responsible travel and a consideration of a lower carbon footprint when travelling, this is a trend which is now changing the face of travel as we know it. As awareness surrounding the climate crisis has increased, both individuals and corporates are looking to off-set their carbon footprint, through various programmes including funding projects that include forest conservation, landfill gas capture and renewable energy.

With heavy scepticism around some carbon offsetting programmes, many high-profile individuals in Sweden have decided to embrace ‘slow travel’ turning from plane to train travel, which offers one-10th of the carbon footprint of a flight. This focus on slow travel has seen an increase across the travel sector for ‘no-flight’ holidays and a revival of boat and train travel. With tour operators in the luxury travel sector promoting the appreciation of the journey rather than the end destination. Keep the luxury and lose the flight with train trips on Venice Simplon-Orient-Express or Belmond Royal Scotsman.

This focus on travel which is increasingly ethical and less damaging to the planet is especially on the rise in the luxury sector where the sharing economy is also a key trend for 2020. Previously thought of a budget option, the concept of a sharing economy between HNWI is fast gaining traction as consumers’ increased awareness of idle assets grows. One such platform is Stay One Degree, the world’s first members’ club for luxury travel

Jorge Munoz, Co-Founder at Stay One Degree, said, “Interestingly, 50% of luxury holiday homeowners have never rented out their homes. We believe this percentage will drop significantly as owners recognise that they can generate significant rental income and reduce the wastage of having a home sitting empty by renting to people that they trust within our club whilst also giving fellow members unique and genuine home experiences.”

Fast forward to 2050 and the choice is yours, perhaps a slow travel trip around the globe on an electric plane flight to visit your preferred energy positive hotel? No documentation needed of course, thanks to your subcutaneous microchip implantation. Alternatively, try a quick trip into space to stay in one of a selection of intergalactic private residences on Mars and beyond.

Buon Voyage!

Article from London Suisse Luxe Magazine

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