THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVEMENT
The past year has been a challenge for many of us and is one that will go down in the history books. International travel is now more important than ever and the opportunity, or even the option, of an alternative residence or second passport is high on the agenda.
As travel slowly begins to open up and we can start to book flights again, a lot of our clients are asking us about changes to residence and citizenship programmes, how other countries have faired during the pandemic (and dealt with border control), what advantages relocation could mean to them and their family, and what options they have in terms of being able to travel freely, when able to do so.
After over a year of lockdown, we still feel global mobility remains at the core of our messaging. Movement and travel is an essential tool for our Managers; we have staff located in several countries around the world, but being able to travel allows us to explore new opportunities for our clients. In this issue we have begun by looking at the key travel trends we expect to see across the next 12 months, from holiday retreats, to international travel for business, or travel for those who are interested in alternative residence and/or citizenship and wish to explore the country first.
Relocation is not just about living somewhere else. It is about safe-guarding you and your family's future, making sure you can travel without hesitation when the need arises, making sure your assets, structures, family wealth and tax planning are in order, but also making sure your priorities are met and you are happy with where you are. I said it in my last Editor's note, but I'll say it again: where we live and our day-to-day lifestyle is now more important than ever. Now is the time to take control, restructure our assets and family wealth and consider new choices going forward. If this is something you have been thinking about for some time, or now want to start discussions, I hope this issue outlines a variety of countries that might be of interest to you.
This year is likely to see a push for travel and normality. As more countries are added to the 'green' list for several countries, the desire to get away is strong.
The global tourism industry was brought to a halt as COVID-19 restrictions saw flights being cancelled on mass last year. As international travel looks to be opening up again, HNWIs will play a key role in reviving the sector and these are some of the travel trends we expect to see them being part of.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is how important our health and well-being is. We expect to see a rise in holidays where well-being, health and self-care is at the core of travel. From meditation trips to luxury spa breaks, working remotely abroad, or spending a few weeks at a fitness retreat, it is clear the last year has been a huge catalyst in encouraging us all to be more health conscious and to focus on staying safe and well as restrictions are lifted.
It is no surprise more and more HNWIS are searching for selfcatering holidays this year. We wouldn't be surprised if there was a rise in more private jets or yachts being chartered for travel and more of a demand for self-catering villas and apartments.
Private holiday homes have already seen a splurge over the last few months according to Globe Trender, with a lot more luxury accommodation starting to appear on platforms like 'Air bnb' and rental websites. HNWIs desire space and privacy even more than ever - where 'safety bubbles' can continue whilst away. Private yachts of course tick all the boxes - private space, crew who have had to quarantine in advance, private chefs, individual cabins, and fresh sea air.
- International Travel for Business
As travel opens, one of the main reasons for travel will be for business.
Over the last year, technology has developed substantially and working from home became the norm with zoom meetings and online calls becoming our greatest tools of communication, but it isn't the same as face-to-face meetings and time spent with colleagues and clients. Over the next 12 months, a rise in travel for business will be one of the biggest trends we expect to see.
However, 2021 also saw a permanent change in the way the workplace is structured, and a new culture of permanently working from home is being adopted by a lot of companies, with Twitter being one of the first to introduce this option. The younger generation will be drawn to this type of nomadic lifestyle, realising they can work from 'anywhere'. Many countries, such as Malta and Portugal are already preparing for the 'digital nomad'.
Malta has introduced a Nomad Residence Permit which enables individuals to maintain their current job in another country whilst they legally reside in Malta, and Portugal is offering a temporary residence visa which is particularly popular with freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Madeira has also launched the 'Madeira Digital Nomads' project which includes a Digital Nomad village in Ponta do Sol which includes villa or hotel accommodation, free wi-fi, coworking stations and specific events.
These residency permits provide new opportunities to third country citizens who would usually need a visa to travel to these countries in the past. It now offers them the freedom to reside in countries around the world and work remotely and independently of their location.
- Outdoor Experiences
Whilst COVID-19 is still affecting a lot of countries around the world, recent trends have shown an increase in outdoor holidays.
Individuals are embracing the 'great outdoors' this year and country escapes have been top of the list. Trips off the beaten track, lakes and mountains, safaris, and domestic roadtrips all continue to be as popular as before.
In line with the rise for wellbeing holidays, 'getting back to nature' is an important goal for many this year. Sustainable holidays, moving the indoors outdoors, appreciating nature and green spaces, and the appeal of COVID-safe experiences is driving more people to 'stay local' or book destinations that avoid the tourist trail to discover hidden gems.
Both travellers and travel agents will be searching for alternative destinations over the next 2 years, to prevent overcrowding and to fulfil the need for sustainable, ecofriendly, outdoor travel.
Another trend that is starting to show signs of growing, is regenerative travel; individuals want to travel to destinations where their money/choices are also being put towards supporting the country and local community in terms of growth and recovery efforts.
According to booking.com's Sustainable Travel Report for 2020, 82% of global travellers identified sustainable travel as being important to them and 68% of travellers would like the money they spend on travel to go back into the local community.
- Friends and Family
For those who already live abroad, or live far from their family and friends, there is some much needed face to face time on our priority lists.
Having extended time apart has inspired future travel plans with family as the focus and there is an increased importance for family togetherness and creating family memories. As a result, multi-generational trips and family days out will be on the rise this year, with larger group travel holidays with friends also increasing.
- Ticking off the Bucket List
For many, comfort will be found in visiting familiar destinations which we know we will enjoy this year, but for others, the last year has brought about a sense of urgency to indulge in the ever-growing bucket list.
Recent trends point to a rise in individuals booking 'adventures of a lifetime' and big-ticket luxury escapes they've always dreamed of - and not just for this year. From exotic safaris across South Africa, to watching the northern lights in Iceland, snorkelling off the coast of Belize, or flying to a remote island in the Maldives by sea plane, many of us will be chasing those dreamed of experiences and with plenty of time to plan, this is a travel trend we expect to see for a few years yet.
- Alternative Residence and/or Citizenship
Many HNWIs may be considering alternative residence and/or citizenship now they have the opportunity, and the next step might be to plan a visit to that country.
Now that more countries are re-evaluating their border restrictions, many of our clients are starting to book visits, whether solo or with their family, and we have staff located in several countries who are able to show you around and introduce you to what life in these jurisdictions could mean for you.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.