New Zealand wants to end influencer tourism
New Zealand – For its latest campaign, Tourism NZ is encouraging visitors to avoid social media-influenced travels.
Comedian Thomas Sainsbury stars in a series of comedic ads released by the travel board, playing the role of a lone ranger in the country's fictional Social Observation Squad – or SOS. The clips parody the format of public service announcements, with Sainsbury urging visitors to stop taking clichéd photographs while in New Zealand. It highlights tropes such as beach shots featuring 'hot dog legs’ and hikers at Roy’s Peak showing the ‘summit spreadeagle’.
‘We noticed that the same pictures or poses kept coming up [on social media] time and time again, no matter the location,’ says Bjoern Spreitzer, domestic general manager at Tourism NZ. He hopes the campaign will inspire domestic visitors to embark on new experiences outside of taking stylised pictures for Instagram. ‘There are so many incredible things to do in New Zealand, beyond the social trends,’ he continues.
As social media homogenises travel experiences, there is an emerging shift towards travellers participating in slow tourism.
An outdoor theatre for socially distanced shows
London – The Vertical Theatre is a free-standing structure for cultural events, designed to accommodate social distancing.
Created by entertainment architecture and design company Stufish, the moveable theatre includes a roof and optional side panelling to protect audiences from the elements, while allowing for optimum ventilation and air flow. Balconies installed throughout the structure allow audiences to sit in groups of between four and 12 people or in designated social bubbles. Its modular design allows all visitors – up to 2,400 – to benefit from an up-close view of performances.
While The Vertical Theatre fits with some countries' social distancing requirements, Stufish notes that the venue’s adaptability will ensure it remains useful even after Covid-19 restrictions have eased. ‘We are very excited to be able to bring this innovative new venue offering to the live entertainment world at this pivotal moment for the future of the arts,' says Ric Lipson, co-founder of Stufish.
By using intelligent architectural design, this project is allowing consumers to reconnect with public leisure activities in a safe and considered way. For more, explore our Positive Barriers design direction.
Emma’s smart mattress soothes restless sleepers
Germany – The sleep tech brand's latest product is an AI-enabled mattress that adapts to the user's slumber to offer a personalised sleeping experience.
The Emma Motion uses ‘infinite AI sense’ technology that analyses a sleeper's movements in real time, via 360 motion sensors embedded in the mattress. This information is collected by the Emma app and, over time, the mattress learns and adapts to individual users’ sleeping patterns. By activating a silent mode, the Emma Motion will automatically adjust to support the contours of the body during the night, providing optimum spinal alignment.
Emma says the innovation is born out of Covid-19-related sleep issues that many people are experiencing. The brand hopes that by offering a customisable sleep experience, customers' holistic health will benefit. ‘We invest heavily in researching and developing products which help people sleep smarter… the Emma Motion will truly innovate how the world sleeps,’ says Manuel Mueller, co-CEO of Emma.
Owing to the pandemic, we can anticipate the rise of future home furnishings that bring wellbeing to the fore.
Stat: Self-care routines will outlast the pandemic
Many US citizens plan to continue engaging in the self-care routines they've established during the pandemic.
According to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll for US wellness software company Vagaro, two-thirds (67%) of people agreed that the routines they developed during the pandemic have become a permanent part of their life. Meanwhile, 69% of respondents say they plan to dedicate more time to self-care in 2021 than they did in the previous year.
When considering their preferred future activities, some 55% of young Americans aged 18–23 said they are especially looking forward to visiting a physical spa again. Respondents also noted a strong desire to have a manicure, pedicure or haircut.
As consumers continue to navigate the physical and emotional toll of the pandemic, many are looking forward to returning to self-care locations as part of a shift towards Recuperative Living.