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Disclosure & Image Rights: Füssen Tourismus und Marketing organized the research trip and covered all of our travel expenses. Healthy Bavaria covered our travel expenses. The Kolping Group took over our travel expenses. Lechweg / Lechtal Tourismus supported us in researching articles and creating images for the blog by assuming all travel costs. Image material was created with a smartphone provided free of charge by our sponsor Mobilcom Debitel, which we checked as part of the test until it was unusable. SV Hotel supported several of our research trips by assuming the costs of the stay. The Bourgogne Franche-Comté region supported our research on site. Tourismus GmbH Nördlicher Schwarzwald took over the costs for our research on site. 

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The future of travel: slow tourism, healthy sustainability and staycations

Corona has decisively changed tourism. The focus of the new development is on slow travel, longer stays on site, cross-border health projects - and artificial intelligence.

How Corona is changing travel

The corona pandemic has undoubtedly promoted a longing for peace and nature in many people and perhaps also changed the way we travel. The sometimes exhausting months of the pandemic brought many people to the brink of burnout. Others have come to know and appreciate the local flora and fauna through long walks.

You take your time and don't rush after it, you avoid long journeys during which you watch the landscapes go by at high speed without appreciating their wealth. You avoid activities from which you ultimately benefit little. And climate change is also contributing to the fact that we are devoting more and more to the topic of sustainability when traveling.

Sustainable deceleration is booming

Slow tourism is the name of this new, well-known variant of travel that more and more tourist destinations are discovering for themselves. By practicing slow tourism, you forego strenuous vacations: every stay is a moment to relax and stroll to fully discover a place. In particular, this means: gentle mobility (cycling, hiking, electromobility, etc.), exchange with residents and local tourism players, consuming and treasuring local products, taking time to enjoy the landscapes and strolling through the surrounding nature.

A trend that is due to climate change and goes well with the topic of slow travel: More and more customers expect sustainable, ecological tourism offers in the course of growing environmental awareness. This is especially true in business tourism, because big ones Company are obliged to offset their climate footprints.

Time out with a Kneipp cure behind the monastery walls

The spa town of Bad Wörishofen in the Allgäu, for example, offers a good opportunity to recognize the signs of a budding exhaustion syndrome early on and to avoid burnout: It is not only pleasantly relaxed in the very quiet Unterallgäu and has a large spa park with all kinds of offers such as Barefoot path, aroma and herb garden and mud ditch support your own well-being: the Kneipp Hotel KurOase is also located in the monastery, in the midst of tranquility and modesty, at the original place of work of Sebastian Kneipp.

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With its large garden, it is the ideal place to switch off, readjust mind and body and confront fears about the future, and with arrangements such as "Conquering stress with Kneipp - burnout prevention", it offers the right measure for all those who are just starting out have exhaustion syndrome. In the quiet and calm environment behind the monastery walls, it is easy to find peace again.

Tourism for structural support: Cross-border health literacy

The EU-funded regional project "Lech Trail of Life" shows that tourism and health prevention must also be considered cross-border: along the Lechweg long-distance hiking route, which accompanies the wild river from its source in Lech am Arlberg to the Füssen Lechfall for around 125 kilometers currently a health tourism experience area between the Austrian Tyrol and the Bavarian Allgäu. The EU project connects the four partners Lechweg, Füssen im Allgäu, Lechtaler Auszeitdörfer and Holzgau / Tyrol and promotes their joint product development and qualification in the area of ​​Kneipp health teaching and joint marketing for this focus. The aim is to position itself in the direction of natural, gentle quality tourism.

The basis for all these activities is the Kneipp health theory with its five pillars: water, exercise, nutrition, herbs and the focus on inner order. Those who follow the trail of life on the wild Lech river from the source to the Lechfall in Füssen can experience Kneipp at numerous stations. The experience space is made visible by the profile-giving Kneipp infrastructure, starting in the portal town of Füssen, which is also marketed as a different time travel destination. Following on from this, the municipality of Holzgau in the Lechtal will be set up as a further Kneipp center. Here visitors can experience, for example, a Kneipp facility with a barefoot path and hammocks in the middle of the forest, cross a 200-meter-long suspension bridge at a height of 110 meters or learn interesting facts about regional products or healthy eating in a small museum through videos by local actors.

Keyword qualification: Numerous Kneipp health trainers have been trained along the “Lech trail of life” - such as the herbal pedagogue Daniela Pfefferkorn, who is also a member of the Lech Valley herb witches and passes on her knowledge to interested people on hikes. There are also smaller hotels and guest houses that hikers along the Lechweg can book as a package including luggage transport. In this context, it is also exciting that the structurally weak Lechtal side valley communities gain a positioning based on their unique selling points in the sense of “time-out villages” with rustic overnight accommodations through the project. As part of the project, a competence network for Kneipp health teaching is being set up with the involvement of clinics / universities / colleges. The pillars of inner order and healthy sleep are a focal point.

Sustainable philosophy and getting out of the hamster wheel

A region that has also discovered the topic of sustainable deceleration for itself is the Northern Black Forest, with a treetop path and the nature park eyes view, among other things. These are special vantage points that invite you to discover the landscape with a bench, a small table and a labeled panorama board - such as in Bad Herrenalb. In the FairTrade town, which emerged from a Cistercian monastery, you can also hike in the footsteps of wildcats or rent e-cars.

For the hotelier Stephan Bode, winner of the BAUM Environment Prize and Spirit-at-Work Award, the goal is to make the world a little better with his ecological commitment: “Anyone who has internalized sustainable thinking once confronts purely economic greed is no longer the focus of his entrepreneurial activities and breaks out of the hamster wheel, ”he explains. The Buddhist is primarily concerned with not destroying his own livelihood: "Once you have understood that all things are interrelated, it becomes natural to do the right thing and healthy growth comes about by itself, a large whole arises" .

The emergence, the interplay of all things, is also an important aspect for journalist and author Ines Veith when it comes to reflecting on one's own thoughts and actions. Fundamental for her is the power of philosophy and in order to convey this to a broad target group as vividly as possible, Veith initiated the Sophie Park in Bad Liebenzell, the name of which stands for Soft Philosophy. The walkers can discover 10 thematic fields from antiquity through the Middle Ages and Renaissance to modern times, in which they can learn the wisdom of philosophers from the last 2500 years, flanked by works by primarily regional artists.

Nature and sustainability also play an important role here: the seating furniture, for example, is recyclable, and Anne Rostek from the Gräfin von Zeppelin perennial garden planted fourteen park beds on the two-hectare area so that visitors are welcomed all year round by flowering beds, which are monochrome plantings color to match the respective epoch. Subtle humor and playful elements are also not neglected, for example in the boules area, which is understood as an opportunity for citizens to think and communicate. In general, there are other sensual and intellectual inspirations around the park, such as the philosophical circular route with 15 stations, such as the historical meeting point badhaus1897, which offers coffee and cake, or the park restaurant in the Kurhaus.

Clairvaux and Troyes: Deceleration and digital offers

Slow tourism has also been discovered in France: In the heart of the Champagne region, near Paris, but without the hustle and bustle, the “Aube” is a good destination for relaxation and slowing down with locally related activities: So give in Dosches Grégory and Gaëlle provide tourists with valuable know-how about a windmill and the milling of flour. The historically modeled mill is open to visitors and adjoining it is a permaculture garden.

In the "Espace Faune" wildlife park, right on the huge "Orient" lake, you almost feel like you are in Yellowstone. Moose, deer, aurochs and European bison live half free here. In autumn you can join Delphine with her dog Pino in the domain "L'Empreinte des Fées" and hunt for truffles in the forest of the famous Clairvaux Abbey. Afterwards, a festive meal with champagne awaits. And in summer there are activities to get to know biodiversity.

And there are even digital offers for those who can't let their mobile phones rest: with the help of a smartphone and the Artybot application, lovers can explore the charming city of Troyes on their own.

Staycations with AI support in the city

The Swiss company SV Hotel is also relying on digital offers to expand its staycation offer and shows that the slow travel concept also works in the city: Even during the pandemic, the company offered customers creative home office solutions in a feel-good atmosphere. With its Stay KooooK brand, the company is targeting the growing market of long-term travelers, such as managers or digital nomads who want to feel at home even when they are out and about:

Intelligent room design should create living space and open space that flexibly adapts to the lifestyle of the guests. A very important aspect of the guest journey is digital. AI and automated personalization of communication should significantly improve the comfort of the guests here. In addition, great importance is attached to flexibility with regard to bookings and cancellations.

Conclusion: Different strategies lead to the goal

Three very different concepts, all of which aim to adapt to the changing demands of travel:

Away from the hectic, hypermobile business trip to slower trips to long-term stays. A development that is urgently to be welcomed from an ecological and health point of view.

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One response to "The Future of Travel: Slow Tourism, Healthy Sustainability and Staycations"

  1. Thorsten Hagedorn says:

    Exciting contribution, thanks for that!

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