Interview

Lee Barker: A rise in multi-generational travel

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March 9, 2020

Opening three brand-new resorts in Mexico, Montenegro and Malaysia in 2020, One&Only is a brand that allows their clients to truly connect with culture and have remarkable adventures through curated experiences.

Who are your typical guests?

The demographics across our brands differ – Atlantis attracts more young families looking for adventure and excitement in one destination resort, whereas One&Only is an ultra-luxury brand that caters to the world’s most interesting and influential people – sophisticated travellers looking for an extraordinary experience.

Across both brands we have observed a rise in demand for multi-generational travel. Families are increasingly travelling in larger and more diverse groups and requesting inter-connecting suites or villa accommodation.

One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

What does luxury mean to you?

Not having to look at a phone or laptop for a whole week!

What has working in the luxury market taught you?

Every detail counts, and luxury means something different to everyone. No one person’s perception is the same as another, and as such you need to treat everyone as individuals.

Tapasake Restaurant, One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

What excites you about the travel industry?

For me, it’s the new destinations and amazing experiences that are emerging every year. I love finding out about new places and new things to do.

What do you value most when you travel?

Spending quality time with my family.

Pelican Beach, One&Only Palmilla, Mexico

The luxury market is changing. How are you adapting your offering?

In our experience, the luxury traveller is now not only looking for luxury surroundings, but for unique and memorable experiences to enrich their lives.

One&Only has evolved beyond award-winning beach resorts to include resorts in incredible natural destinations and urban centres, as well as Private Homes, in response to the changing desires of luxury travellers.

We recently opened One&Only Gorilla's Nest, our second resort in Rwanda, located on the edge of the protected Volcanoes National Park, which is home to endangered mountain gorillas, to offer our guests intimate insights into undisturbed nature on their doorstep.

Our existing resorts all offer curated experiences to take our guests to the heart of the destination, opening doors to people and places that would otherwise remain undiscovered, from authentic healing rituals performed by a shaman at One&Only Palmilla in Mexico, to hiking to the summit of Lion's Head at One&Only Cape Town.

One&Only Gorilla's Nest, Rwanda

How do you make sustainable choices in your work and personal life?

I think that in this day and age it’s about looking at changes you can make in your everyday life.

This January, on the behest of my six-year-old, we decided to become vegetarian as a family. We can learn a lot from the younger generation, and I think that they will lead the way.

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