Friday, October 24, 2014

Painting a picture of the future of travel: By Simon Hudson

I am currently writing an article about the top ten consumer trends influencing the future of travel. Number one on my list is the quest for learning and enrichment, and a growing trend in tourism today is for tourists to seek a learning experience as a part of the vacation. A recent survey found that half of North American travelers want to visit art, architectural, or historic sites on vacations, while one-third would like to learn a new skill or activity. Today’s travelers are seeking experiences that provide them with a greater insight, increased understanding, and a personal connection to the people and places they visit. Rather than choose their vacation by the destination, many are first determining the experiences they want, and then choosing the destination where these experiences are located. Capitalizing on this trend is talented Dutch-Caribbean artist, Elisa Lejuez. Elisa is a prolific painter, and I was very fortunate this week to visit her home and gallery on Aruba to see some of her work. Her mega modern home in Noord, Aruba, is a perfect backdrop for her art and innovative wallpaper. As well as creating colorful multi-media, textured paintings, Elisa is a textile and clothing designer. Her art can be seen in galleries and hotels around Aruba including the Aruba Marriott and eco-resort, Bucuti & Tara as well as online ( And her clothing line is available in several boutiques and online ( A new project for Elisa is teaming up with a local tour operator to provide art lessons to holiday-makers. In November she joins a group of Aruban artists on a trip to New York City for a teaching seminar sponsored by the Aruba Tourism Authority. And, back home, she will offer private and group lessons from her studio throughout the year.

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