Travel plans in 2020 were swept away by the tide of the pandemic. As we look towards the near future, transformative tropical adventures are already in high-demand and Itz'ana is well-positioned. Approaching 2021, travel professionals have seen a surge in advanced bookings as travelers are seeking a celebratory ending to the quarantine blues! However, travel motivations and accomodation selections are changing significantly. Our travel partners and industry insiders have noted that Belize will continue to receive growing interest and Itz'ana's reopening will have global interest.
Travelers are seeking immersive transformations
Today's luxury adventurers are seeking to broaden their lives by exploring cultural and experiential diversity. Resonance Consultancy's CEO, Chris Fair explains, "On a deeper level, transformative travel stays with you long after the experience of traveling is over". Fair notes the opportunity for emerging destinations like Belize, "They have authentic things to do."
The cultural and geographical diversity in Belize enables us to curate transformative experiences. Compared to most Caribbean destinations, our guests have opportunities to explore an impressive array of cultural traditions: Maya, Garifuna, Chinese, East Indian, European, Lebanese, Mestizo and Creole. Itz'ana offers a luxurious basecamp to experience a diverse landscape as well. Bucket-list dive sites and whale shark encounters are just off the coast for the experienced divers. There are also full-service snorkel trips which offer breathtaking views for the less committed. At nearby Cocksomb Basin, those who have seen the Scarlet Macaws by day or an elusive Jaguar at night, talk about it in reverential terms. Knowledgeable local guides provide the personal bridge to these immersive experiences and they also can reveal the secret spots for cooling dips beside waterfalls! Jack Ezon, President of Ovation Vacations in New York, explains it this way: "Luxury travelers want to be more immersed in their surroundings and feel like they're living like a local."
Boutique resorts with Private Villas, Please!
Itz'ana was intentionally designed as a low-density luxury resort with very few hotel rooms and spacious private residences. Prior to Covid, there was a clear trend towards vacation home-stays and we planned to meet the emerging market. AirBNB and VRBO were expanding and most of the major hospitality brands were re-imagining their offerings. In the post-covid world, homes with private kitchens and pools will dominate luxury bookings globally. Our private residences feature spacious indoor and outdoor areas, private pools and personal kitchens. "We're going to see a big increase in bookings of villas and less crowded experiences" says Jessica Griscavage, Director of Marketing at McCabe World Travel.
The booking trends line up well for Itz'ana. Guesty, a global software company that aggregates AirBNB, Bookings.com and other travel sites have seen reservations for the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are up 38%, 40%, and 23% respectively compared to 2019. Huge numbers of travelers that once considered multi-floor resorts with elevators and large-scale amenities will be seeking the safety of smaller resorts with less exposure.
"Youth Immersion" For the first time ever, we are offering a scuba diving experience for our younger guests, ages 12 and up! We encourage families to share
immersive educational experiences that will transform their perspectives. Experienced instructors teach skills in the pristine shallow waters on a local Caye, followed by a short dive and lunch, followed by an epic dive at the reef! Available form December 1st, 2020.
"Stay 3-Pay 2" - Pay for two nights but stay for three in our beachfront suites and deluxe hotel rooms. On arrival, a complimentary bottle of wine awaits and each morning begins with our Itz'ana Breakfast included! This offer is valid from now until August 31st, 2020.