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ASPIRE BRUNCH CLUB


THE PIONEERING SPIRIT OF LUXURY TRAVEL IS PROMINENT AMONG EXPEDITION AND EXPLORATION BRANDS. ASPIRE’S PANELLISTS DISCUSS FINDING THEIR ‘DUENDE’ MOMENTS. BY NATASHA SALMON


INSPIRE CLIENTS TO FEEL ‘DUENDE’


Travel firms have been urged to help clients discover their perfect ‘duende’ moments while travelling by sharing their specialist knowledge. The emotion is deemed as being a perfect moment and is often associated with flamenco dancing.


Chris Haslam, chief travel


writer at The Sunday Times, said such moments can creep up on travellers. “The word duende means demon or spirit, and when it is reached in a flamenco performance it is when it is absolutely perfect,” he said. “It is when you have the right temperature, the right atmosphere and everything comes together perfectly – an aficionado will say ‘el duende is in the room’.


“It is the perfect moment. Some people never experience it but I think it exists in travel too. It can happen anywhere – on a rainy night on a trail in the Himalayas or in the bush in Africa, for example.” Haslam said although pictures on social media could


Chris Haslam: ‘Duende can happen anywhere while travelling’


be influential in encouraging bookings, it still rested with travel writers, tour operators and travel agents to promote destinations and experiences where people can experience “incandescent moments”. “I think we are all searching


for those travel moments when your physical, psychological and spiritual needs are all met in one incandescent moment. “You can post as many pictures or selfies as you like but people will always go back to travel sections written by journalists who can be trusted and tour operators who are destination specialists.”


‘EXPEDITION CRUISES OPEN UP PLACES AND THE MIND’


The fluid nature of expedition cruising brings out the adventurous nature of travellers, according to Ponant sales boss Stephen Winter. He said the focus was on “being in the moment” and “immersion in experience”, both of which appealed to customers seeking adventure. “There is an itinerary [to expedition


trips] but most of this is a guideline; nature is key and you have to go in expecting to have changes of schedules,” he said. “The naturalists and guides on the ships


are there to get you up close to nature. “This is the definition of an exploration


voyage. We certainly can explore geographically but we also will do an intellectual and emotional exploration. “People come back changed. They


know a bit more about those places. They want to protect them and ensure there is no damage done, and they have an appreciation for the silence.” Chris Haslam of The Sunday Times claimed Brits had a strong bond with cruising because of the country’s maritime history.


Stephen Winter


aspire september 2017 — 37


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