Relax and learn? Vacationers are craving more than a perfect tan this holiday season; here’s why.

Club Med Tomamu.  Photo: Club Med

As the Chinese proverb says, it is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books. This philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of personal experience and first-hand learning, is perhaps why Hong Kongers are among the most widely traveled global citizens, at least before the pandemic.

Taking something valuable with you from a trip, rather than just lounging on the beach with a drink in hand, is one way to describe a typical travel experience for many of the city’s frequent flyers. That’s not to say Hong Kongers don’t know how to relax and unwind; Island and beach retreats top the list of vacations people are most looking forward to in 2022, according to a survey by travel resort group Club Med.

More and more resorts and hotels that cater to traveling families are creating educational experiences to enrich their stay and beyond. According to Stuart de Bourgogne, Club Med’s general manager for Hong Kong and Taiwan, families want to bring healthy and new habits home, which can often mean learning a new sport or learning to eat healthily.

“Club Med is the largest sports school in the world offering 60 types of land and water sports – guests can try something new, develop an interest and continue when they get home,” he says.

Involving family members of all ages in a variety of activities means everyone gets a chance to have some me-time. “Club Med launched the Amazing Family program in 2019 to encourage families to spend quality time together. Activities include family yoga classes so families can enjoy wellness activities together, but also some “me time” – so wellness programs like spa fit their needs.”

While Club Med offers everything from mountain adventures to underwater exploration, other resorts like Six Senses delight guests with practical life skills to take home.

Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives recently launched its Sustainability Camp and Junior Marine Biology Program, which engages youthful guests in a variety of activities.

Experts in these respective areas of conservation will lead sessions that touch on topics such as waste reduction, agriculture and marine conservation. Children can divide their time between the different activities at the resort while taking valuable lessons home with them.

Laamu Greg Holder, guest training coordinator for the Maldives Underwater Initiative at Six Senses, says the idea of ​​creating these experiences came directly from guests. “We found that many teenagers were very interested in learning more about sustainability and marine conservation, but we didn’t have any activities that were attractive to their age group. Our sustainability camp is an opportunity to share our insights, skills and above all our passion for nature and environmental protection….”

These two resorts are just among the many increasingly catering to wellness needs. While some guests prefer a laid-back, carefree beach vacation, others want to bring home more than a perfect suntan.

See also: Curated recovery and sleep programs on the rise across Asia post-pandemic

Dave Gallo

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