The extremes join forces
José Manuel Fernandes
The essence of luxury in tourism
CEO of Herdade da Malhadinha Nova
«Nature, space, time». These are some of the most frequently used words to describe the new trend of luxury in tourism. The appeal of the «authentic» appears as a way to support local communities and «sustainable» tourism. Contact with local culture and customs is, fortunately, in my opinion, a factor of enormous enhancement and distinction. All around the world numerous companies in the field of product design are on a mission to introduce innovation and design to the craft industry, affirming it as a profession of the future.
Hotel spaces themselves are increasingly intent on bringing through their doors the distinctive character of heritage associated with local arts and crafts and the local ecosystem itself.
The preservation of the space, native species, is increasingly valued. Time takes on the character of absolute exclusivity, the desire to live «slowly», the appeal of the origins and the land, for simple ways of living, where contact with nature emerges as a new paradigm of «luxury».
This new trend is further strengthened by the desire to enjoy custom-made experiences. Uniqueness plays an important role in adding value to what is on offer; the new and discerning tourist wants to feel unique and valued.
Detail and customisation regarding service is increasingly important in this new trend, the feeling of a «home away from home» is key. The most traditional and classic way of offering a customised service is almost a must; the small personal touches tailored to the customer’s personal tastes is something much appreciated.
According to some experts, we are experiencing and will continue to experience the era of «conscious tourism», from concerns about human rights, equality, to the local economy, as a way of improving working conditions and environmental concerns will influence the luxury segment in tourism.
And I end with a sentence that is part of the way my family and I share the new tourism project at the Herdade da Malhadinha Nova that will open in 2020.
The simplicity of the new spaces, all of them former ruins of «Alentejo farmhouses», spread over the property’s 450 hectares, where memories of former times and the Alentejo style inspired architecture combine tradition and modernity: «Simplicity is the new luxury».