May 23, 2021
From Barcelona's magnetic energy to the lesser known gems of Inner Spain, we believe the future of travel will be driven by renewed purpose, appreciation & inspiration
With Spain's announcement this weekend that international visitors will be welcomed in the country starting June 7, to say that anticipation is in the air is an understatement. We've reached the other side.
That other side is still unknown. As one European country after the next re-opens borders, undoing the domino effect of closures that sealed the Continent some 15 months ago, life has suddenly started feeling a whole lot closer to normal. A new normal, I hope, marked by compassion and renewed respect for the world around us and each other. One in which not another long haul flight, dinner with friends or spontaneous exchange in a foreign land be taken for granted.
On the heels of a re-opened world, it will be up to each and every one of us to forge a new reality in the spaces we inhabit and through the decisions we take. As a travel design company I feel it our duty and privilege to do that by building a more meaningful model of tourism. One which champions the lesser known regions of Secret Spain. One which educates, transforms and enriches our guests' experience and in doing so safeguards the local artisan -- the endangered tradition -- the age old craft -- the savoir faire passed from one generation to the next.
To spread our purchasing power away from trodden city centers and into the fascinating up & coming regions where travelers feel like locals and meaningful exchanges have room to take place.
Where the 1.9 Billion tourists who traveled in 2019 see destinations like Amsterdam, Paris, Venice or Barcelona as gateways to more intimate experiences in Utrecht, Auvers-sur-Oise, Verona or Terra Alta.
And where a more purpose-driven travel is an agent for transformation -- of local communities, of preserving cultural nuance, and ultimately, of ourselves.
How we set out to embrace a model for tourism that’s meaningful for both travelers and local economies hinges greatly on how we educate travelers. While seeing the world's masterpieces and monuments, or checking a bucket list may bring satisfaction, truly transformative experiences lie not in what we see but in what we feel. No list can hold water to eating in the chef's kitchen while learning where their meal is sourced; spending the afternoon in an artist's atelier; or meeting the 6th generation olive oil producer alongside his 12th century stone mill.
Herein lies the importance of encouraging travelers to evolve in their own perception, to challenge them to no longer identify as consumers in a foreign country but an integral part of that country’s story. And where the responsibility as a travel company lies in identifying those people, places and values we deem worthwhile.
And together be inspired to make better choices; to travel a bit deeper; to value products & artisans who prize proximity; to gain an understanding of a region and its cultural history with our eyes but also our hearts; to grant access to extraordinary people with real stories and take home the lessons learned on the road; to enrich and transform ourselves and those we meet along the way - in short, to travel meaningfully.
Jonathan Lerner is the founder of Tailored Tours Barcelona, a creative travel studio designing award winning experiences across the arts, culture & food. Discover our bespoke experiences in Barcelona and our destinations in Secret Spain.