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Micro-cations – The hyper local travel experience we are starting to prioritise

13 September 2020

As we face a new era, it’s important to understand the changes we are going through. The wants and needs of new generations, evolving businesses, and increased focus on our planet; how these changes will impact society, consumer behaviour and businesses in order to orient ourselves and navigate a new world. Human and economic crisis foster innovation by necessity.

Environmentalism, macro and micro economic factors as well as limited travel leading to an ideological mindset will lead us to be more thoughtful in our travel decisions. People will crave for deeper more meaningful cultural experiences. Discovering our own back yard, as well as a desire for remote destinations will guide us to a hospitality experience which is hyper-local. More than ever before—travellers will prioritise their journeys’ impacts on the planet, local communities, and themselves.

‘Micro-cations’ are becoming increasingly attractive during these times. Quicker vacations, which are now considered an essential expense for Australians to ‘escape’ their city life and improve their work-life balance. Short breaks alleviate stress, more so in regional areas, close to nature. We know that 80% of regional-dwellers and 74% of those living in cities are intending to visit a non-city destination in the next 12 months.

‘Micro-cations’ come with a long list of benefits, and allow travellers to take multiple short getaways in a single year and explore several travel destinations from their bucket list, maximising local experiences instead of splashing all of their savings on a big trip.

A Regional Retreat

Mitchell & Eades are innovating with Cre8tive Property and Eva Liu & Katherine Liu at BEKL to rebrand and reposition the Geelong Conference Centre, offering a personalised, wellness focused “Boutique Hotel” experience in the heart of the Geelong Botanical Gardens. The property will have a strong focus on serving the local community. Consuming locally will become an act of solidarity which we will embrace.

BEKL Managing Director, Katherine Liu, reiterates that the destination will be inspired by the area’s botanical surroundings and a ‘bush retreat’ heritage. The hotel will focus on providing guests with a hyper-local, hyper-seasonal gastronomic experience, drawing on ingredients sourced from the Bellarine Peninsula.

“We are huge advocates for the practice of biophilic design – connecting people and nature within our built environments as a means of reducing stress levels, increasing mood and the overall feeling of wellbeing. This will be a big focus as we move to create a wellness destination to be enjoyed, be it by corporate guests, leisure travellers or locals,” Liu said.

The Architect’s vision for the Geelong Conference Centre back in 1985, was to provide generous light filled and airy spaces for teaching, study, intellectual exchange, recreation and residence. The use of a simple palette of materials which relates to the environment, local native plantings, and the utmost respect for the original Architecture are amongst the values which Mitchell & Eades are adopting for this project.

The 4,500 square metre site adjacent to the East Geelong Golf Course will be turned into a 46-room boutique hotel. The property will offer seven conference rooms, a restaurant and bar, guest lounge, swimming pool, and expansive garden areas where guests will be encouraged to engage with their surroundings.

Through a process of reuse and rejuvenation, Mitchell & Eades will reflect upon the property’s heritage of mid-century design values; Simplicity in both function and form, and a striking contrast between natural shapes, abstract designs, and organic materials in a human-made environment.

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