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Destination Design: Introducing Travel 2.0

Destination Design: Introducing Travel 2.0

Maria Lorena Lehman Maria Lorena Lehman
4 minute read

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The Vacation of Tomorrow

Travel today is static. That is, when people visit destinations, they experience landmarks and cultures as they currently stand, without much context into their past or future. During this launch into the realm of foresight, we will explore the paradoxical nature of travel, with deep insight into emerging trends that are creating a new discipline — which I call Destination Design. Are you ready to adventure into the vacation of tomorrow?

Current Trend: The Hotel as Vehicle for Immersive Travel

The hotel is one’s “home away from home”; but what if the hotel were designed as a gateway by which to experience landmarks and cultures from the past or as they could be projected into the future? In doing this, travel would significantly change as hotels become vehicles for immersive simulations of the past and projections into the places of tomorrow. This new way of vacationing gives new meaning to the term “time travel” as emerging technologies are positioning hotels to create immersive experiences that bend time for visitors.

To accomplish the latter immersive hotel travel experiences, one can see two current trends fusing:

  • Immersive Hotel Art Installations: An immersive hotel art installation that brings value to guests by offering them a “reflective journey through time and space”. (1)

  • Tourist Destination Predictions: The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies that predict how “popular tourist destinations might appear in 100 years” with and without positive intervention for challenges such as climate change and overpopulation. (2)

As you can see from the latter two examples, the “immersive travel” trend is blossoming. By extending physical reality with digital media, hotels become more than a place to sleep by night as you sightsee by day. Instead, hotels are becoming a more prominent part of the vacation experience — especially when coupling these educationally immersive hotel travel moments with a visit to their physical world counterpart. Just imagine a hotel room that allows you to experience Notre Dame as it stood newly built in 1345. Then imagine this hotel room guiding you on a journey through the many modifications and additions of Notre Dame over the centuries until arriving at its projected state 100 years into the future. After this type of hotel experience, visiting the current-day Notre Dame becomes a different experience filled with more context, understanding, and perhaps appreciation for the poetics of place.

Yet, one must ask: How can this type of travel uplift lives and help the world?

Let’s explore more deeply:

Future Trajectory: Global Awareness through Destination Design

Travel in all forms expands perception and awareness of the world. With immersive hotel travel experiences, new ways to learn, play, and get inspired abound. However, all of this would be dependent upon a new field which I call Destination Design.

If you could create any vacation experience without the constraints of time and space, what would you create? This is the question hotel designers of the future will need to ask. Will they design travel destinations that explore and teach history? Or will these travel destinations adventure into future frontiers? Perhaps the hotels of tomorrow will fuse virtual and physical realities to invite travelers to new places — invented for deeper travel into oneself or other vastly unexplored environments like the ocean or outer space. Essentially, the hotel of tomorrow flips the “static travel” paradox upside down as it becomes possible to “visit” unreachable or invisible places in ways that never ask one to physically leave.

The definition of “travel” is expanding, and in the future, this may interconnect humanity in new ways that bring greater global awareness. It all begins with one seemingly simple question: What immersive hotel destination would you want to visit?

For this, the future awaits.


References:

(1) N, Kalina. (2024) Immersive Hotel Art Installations. TrendHunter.

(2) N, Kalina. (2024) Tourist Destination Predictions. TrendHunter.

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