Travel can inform and educate the discerning traveller, but many destinations no longer want visitors at any cost
We live in times of change. The conurbations are spreading and their population densities increasing, pushing up rents and housing demand. As rural depopulation continues, traditional and deep-rooted vernacular buildings are threatened or even swallowed up by the expansion of modern infrastructure. Meanwhile, popular destinations such as Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Venice and Majorca complain of the floods of tourists that descend on them, leading to a feast or famine situation of overtourism.
What does this have to do with us at HOLIDAYARCHITECTURE?
Many of our participants’ houses are found in more rural areas. We believe that locations offering a unique combination of high-quality hospitality and architecture are a small, valuable step towards an alternative future, and encourage a more far-sighted and meaningful form of global tourism.
HOLIDAYARCHITECTURE properties are often in areas that have yet to be (re-)discovered, with the potential to cause a new sensation or make themselves known quietly and secretly. We are delighted to observe ever more examples of a synergistic tourism infrastructure that can accommodate local residents, guests and nature sustainably. This might lead you to venture into regions that still enjoy being discovered – the Harz mountains in the heart of Germany, for example, unspoilt Galicia, or the lonely, remote islands off the coasts of Norway or Scotland.
You’ll find some of our properties in well-developed holiday destinations that are not distinguished by their architecture. In these areas, the individual quality of the homes we offer is a real highlight.
There are many metropolitan areas where we have no properties; in the few examples we have in such locations, we know they are homes where guests and hosts are seeking to meet each other as equals with genuine interest in one another. This discerning mutual relationship has nothing to do with numbers or speed.
Of course, great architectural design in itself cannot stop rural depopulation or divert everyone away from overcrowded hotspots, although it does have a gradual, indirect effect on these trends. We believe that, in combination with a fitting hospitality culture, it is very well-suited to creating trailblazing, visionary projects.
We really hope you will benefit from our network and embark on many authentic holiday experiences, tracking down new places to excite and inspire you. And you can be satisfied that a side-effect of your choice is to play a small part in influencing the way things happen in tourism and the wider world.
On that note, we hope our properties will bring you plenty of exciting discoveries “on the edges” of tourism, and great pleasure in getting to know new areas and homes together with their hosts and local living!
Note: This text is the foreword to our latest book Selection 2019.