Future Holidays

Learning new skills, pillow-plumping robots and less crowds, please – a Sunsail survey reveals the future of the travelling Brit.

According to a study commissioned by yacht charter company Sunsail, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, 28 per cent of Brits said they had experienced ‘rowdy’ tourists spoiling the peace whilst on holiday and 59 per cent said that over-tourism in other countries has or would put them off visiting a particular country.

Overcrowding was not the only thing on the minds of travellers. 40 per cent said that what they wanted from a holiday had changed drastically, or a little bit, over the past five years, and 1 in 4 said they wanted to learn something new on a holiday. Meanwhile 43 per cent of respondents said they think about how close to the sea/beaches they are when choosing where to go on holiday, but this does not mean lounging on the beach all day.

AI powered travel
When it comes to where they thought travel technology is heading, the answers were everything from AI planners (16 per cent) and solar-powered or AI-powered commercial planes (both 13 per cent), to commercial space tour flights (14 per cent), superfast ships (11 per cent) and no air travel at all (5 per cent).

39 per cent would like to see instant translation earbuds in the future – that take in the audio from the person speaking and translate it back into your ear – and 23 per cent suggested solar-powered sailboats with AI navigation would pique their interest. Underwater luxury yacht excursions were not far behind this, at 14 per cent.

What about the kids?
British yachtswoman and Sunsail ambassador, Dee Caffari MBE, also talked to the next generation to get their ideas and opinions: “We had a whole range of answers from artificial intelligence and technology that does the thinking for us, and to do all the procedures for us. There are no right or wrong answers; after all, this is the next generation who will innovate for the future, and I am sure somewhere in the middle there will be our future in 50 years.”

Answers included:
“I’ll go on a massive cruise boat and have robots that do everything, like plump pillows.”

“I would have a VR headset on, listening to an electronic voice telling me what to do and where we were going.”

“Boats would be able to go underwater and then be like a flying fish being able to skim the water.”

“The sea will be pancakes and when you get on the boat there are butterflies that fly you into the air.”

A more sustainable future
It is also clear from the results that sustainability is at the forefront of the traveller’s mind. 68 per cent said it was very or quite important that holidays be made environmentally friendly, and 37 per cent thought that renewable energy-powered airports were an intriguing concept for future eco-friendly travel.

34 per cent liked the idea of wind-powered cruise liners with hydro-generators (powered by water instead of fuel to power the cruise liner to move in water), and 37 per cent liked the sound of renewable energy-powered airports.

Caroline Barbour, UK marketing manager for Sunsail, said: “People are moving away from the typical sun lounger holiday and are looking for something a bit different, with a good balance of relaxation and adventure – they do not just want one or the other.

“It is also interesting to see how sustainable energy and technology that focus on connecting us to others, such as translation earbuds, is a priority. I am not sure how likely it is that the sea will be made of pancakes… but flying boats and pillow-plumping robots do not seem completely out of the question!

“For those who have yet to try it, a sailing holiday can tick all these boxes. You get to go off the beaten track and avoid the crowds, find hidden gems and places not accessible by land and learn a new skill.

“Even better, you can choose whether you want to make an adventure of it, for example, booking a flotilla and sailing with others or going solo and kicking back to relax while an expert skipper takes charge.”


Celebrating 50 Years
In 2024 Sunsail is celebrating 50 years of offering unforgettable experiences to sailing enthusiasts and adventurers, and in honour of this milestone is launching two new, one-off flotillas in Lefkas and The British Virgin Islands. www.sunsail.co.uk

Lefkas 50th Anniversary Flotilla – one-week itinerary
The one-week Lefkas 50th anniversary flotilla includes snorkelling amongst a plane wreck, exploring rocky cliffs, walking the sands of private beaches, visiting ancient fortresses and fragrant pine forests and experiencing the Ionian’s most unmissable sights with a group of new friends.

Prices for the one-week Lefkas Flotilla, departing on the 19 May 2024, start from £2,724, for a Sunsail 34, 2 cabin, 1 head classic yacht. At each daily morning briefing, the lead crew advises on the day’s sailing, ideal routes, weather conditions and hidden gems to discover.

BVI 50th Anniversary Flotilla – one-week itinerary
Meanwhile, the BVI 50th anniversary flotilla promises swimming with turtles, white sand beaches and friendly waterside bars in the stunning British Virgin Islands.

Both flotillas will offer a mix of discovery, adventure and companionship for those who want the ultimate holiday this year.

Prices for the one-week BVI Flotilla, departing August 2024, start from £3,099, for a Sunsail 41.9, 3 cabin,
2 head classic yacht. As with the Lefkas flotilla, at the daily morning briefing, the lead crew advises on the day’s sailing, ideal routes, weather conditions and hidden gems.


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