How to Travel Safe but with Style

Driven by consumer desires for new experiences, innovative technologies and environmental impacts – travel is changing. Host Sarah Dandashy explores the technologies and logistics that power travel and the brands that build unforgettable experiences.

 

After a difficult year in tourism, travel is recovering. While safety is still top of mind, the experience of luxury travel is changing, too. Discussing trends in the space and what her company is seeing, Florence Li, Director of International Sales and Marketing for Songtsam, joined Say Yes to Travel host Sarah Dandashy.

Li explained a bit about the Songtsam portfolio. “We are a boutique, high-end chain with lodges and hotels in the Yunnan province in China and Tibet.”

“People realized because of the pandemic that we are one world and interconnected. In the future, travelers will focus more on connections in destinations. They want immersive, authentic experiences, not just to buy something.” – Florence Li

Li shared that all properties were closed in the first part of 2020, but they bounced back with high occupancy by the end of May. To ensure traveler safety, Li said, “We implemented new high standards for hygiene. We continue to keep up with the pace of changes, as well.”

One thing the Songtsam properties are known for is sustainability. Most are in local villages, and the company emphasizes using local materials, having symbiotic relationships with villages, and a reverence for nature. “Sustainability isn’t just about the environment. We want to preserve the culture of the local village and support their development and economic growth,” Li said.

Their close ties to villages are reflected in their staff, which is 92% from these areas. The organization works hard to develop its employees, which furthers their drive to deliver outstanding hospitality to guests.

Li also talked about trends and predictions for luxury travel. “People realized because of the pandemic that we are one world and interconnected. In the future, travelers will focus more on connections in destinations. They want immersive, authentic experiences, not just to buy something.”

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