Travel and lifestyle companies big and small have adapted their business strategies to help support those impacted the most in the fight against coronavirus.
From small independent businesses to large multinational corporations, brands from all sectors across the globe have been responding to the pandemic. Expansive demand for face masks and hand sanitisers have seen manufacturers reorientate their production lines, and hospital workers are being housed, fed and transported free of charge. Also, bigger companies are making substantial monetary donations to help struggling small businesses.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Whatever it is, Covid-19 has shown an empathetic side of brands that are prioritising community. Here are some of Culture Trip’s favourite examples.
The Scottish-based brewery started making ‘Punk Sanitiser’ hand gels at its Aberdeen distillery in response to the national shortage. Free cases were delivered to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s Intensive Care Unit, along with distribution to key workers and charities across the country. Over 50,000 units have been packaged and delivered so far. BrewDog is also starting “online bars” – mass group video calls recreating local boozers as a platform “to give locals and regulars a chance to reconnect and share a beer”, as well as providing interactive online content such as live music, pub quizzes and even a home-brewing masterclass. On top of all that, BrewDog has promised to give everyone a free Punk IPA when its bars reopen.
Empty rental locations are being offered as either free or subsidised accommodation for up to 100,000 healthcare personnel, emergency responders and relief workers all around the world. So far, over 6,000 healthcare professionals were able to find accommodation in France and Italy. The properties have to follow new cleanliness protocols based on recommendations from medical experts.
House of Woo
Research shows that DIY masks made with a single layer of cotton can remove around 50 to 60 percent of virus-size particles. Los Angeles designer House of Woo heard this information and altered its production output towards refashioning old garments and transforming them into comfortable, stylish face masks. Its factory, which usually produces beach-style dresses, was repurposed, and within days it was manufacturing the masks. They are on sale to the general public, with the proceeds going towards shipping mask donations to hospitals across the country. House of Woo set a fashion trend, with other designers following suit, all with the aim of protecting people against the virus while helping the fashion industry tick over.
Initially, the London-based folding bicycle company started a service in partnership with Spinlister to get the public to lend 200 of their bikes, free of charge, directly to healthcare workers in need of transportation. With demand through the roof, Brompton decided to donate its bikes as well. Currently, over 500 NHS staff have registered to receive a bike, with more expected to do so. What originally started as a target of providing 200 bikes has now become 1,000. Cycling UK is also supporting NHS workers by offering three months of free Cycling UK Membership, which issues free third-party liability insurance and access to its legal advice line.
Bars around the world will be some of the worst affected businesses under lockdown. Stella and Bacardi separately decided to start campaigns to provide much-needed support. Rally for Restaurants, launched by Stella, invites consumers in 10 different countries to purchase a voucher to their favourite bar, with Stella promising to add an additional 50 percent to the value of each voucher.
Cape Town online ticketing company Webtickets has partnered with Food Flow to work with local farmers who are still producing food but are losing business with restaurants being closed. The partnership aims to support farmers and the vulnerable by shifting the food flow and getting the produce to those who need it most during the lockdown. Sponsorship of a bag of food will help families in communities facing food insecurity, especially children who normally rely on school-feeding schemes. So far, Food Flow has collected over 3,500 bags of produce to help provide food to those in need.
Ride-hailing giant Uber is pledging 10 million free rides and deliveries of food for frontline healthcare workers, seniors and people in need around the world. In the UK alone, they’re committing 200,000 free rides to and from work for all staff with a valid NHS or HSC email address. Uber is also covering 100,000 free meals through Uber Eats – all delivered to first responders’ homes or even the wards. The company is also providing disinfectants and cleaning methods to drivers so that people and food can be transported in the safest way possible.
Italy has been one of the countries worst-hit by Covid-19. Its hospitals are being overwhelmed by the virus, with the shortage of equipment proving one of the biggest issues. Italian luxury fashion house Armani decided to respond to Italy’s troubles by repurposing its manufacturing plants to make single-use medical overalls, on top of a €2 million (£1.75 million) donation to hospitals across the country. In America, Ralph Lauren is donating $10 million to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and has started the production of 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns. The same is happening in France, as Louis Vuitton redirects its workshop output towards protective face masks and hospital gowns.
Luxury hotels around the world have offered their services to help combat the virus, whether it’s offering vacant rooms to frontline healthcare workers to stay in between shifts or using their kitchens to produce and distribute much-needed food within their cities. Hilton Hotels and Resorts are donating around 1 million hotel nights at locations around the USA. The Four Seasons in New York is closed to the public but open to healthcare workers. Claridge’s has offered free accommodation to 40 NHS workers. Orania.Berlin has pledged to cook 800 meals for homeless people who can no longer rely on the closed food banks. Hôtel Chais Monnet is delivering chef-cooked meals to the local Cognac hospital. The five-star Jamaica Inn is donating all of its towels and linens while they’re not in use to local health centres.
Car rental company Indie Campers is offering up its 850 campervans situated in 15 countries around Europe to be used as “makeshift ambulances” and food delivery trucks. According to a company statement, “We’re [Indie Campers] making many of our vehicles available to hospitals, governments, NGOs or other public entities serving those locations that are being affected, aiming to assist them in whichever way they deem relevant to address this crisis.”
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.