Derelict rural spaces will be revived by travel and hospitality brands as populations continue to shift to cities, an MSC Cruises report has predicted.

According to Unesco, 61% of the world’s 8.1 billion people will live in cities by 2030 which the line’s report says will create opportunities in rural areas to build tourist destinations.

The 22-page report The Future of the Guest Experience cites the line’s new private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve as an example of “how once-derelict areas can be given new life”.

The former sand excavation site in the Bahamas, which opened late last year, will employ 140 local staff and 64 square miles around the island will be protected as a marine reserve.

“As modern living, jobs and education entice young people and families into cities, whole towns will also experience similar boosts, with hoteliers across Europe refashioning spaces that have been left behind,” the report said.


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Abandoned cottages in the Swiss village of Corippo, where currently just 12 people live, will be transformed into luxury hotels, the report predicts.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC’s executive chairman, said the report was commissioned “to uncover how our guests may be cruising with us in 2030 and identify opportunities to further enhance the experience for guests travelling with us now and in the future”.

Naomi Leite, a lecturer at Soas University of London; Kameron Durham, vice president of guest experience for the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park; and Matthew Woodruff, of Hospitality Ventures Management Group, all contributed to the report’s findings.

The report concludes that the next 10 years will be “defined by consumers’ pursuit of personalisation, desire for conviviality and demand for purpose-driven experience” and “brands that deliver on these three fronts can create a guest experience that is truly high definition”.