Start your travels a step ahead of the rest



First things first

Last year was big. We travelled, and we travelled well. Bolder and better than ever before. Visiting unknown places, getting intentionally lost, using travel as an educational experience. We sought to inspire – to give flight to the remarkable.

And 2023 will be bigger still. This year, we're living in the moment. Unleashing the narrative, the story, behind our – and your – travels. Head below to discover what 2023 has in store.



Stories help us to orient ourselves in the world – to make sense and to give context. With ‘storification’, we’re seeing more travellers embracing characters and narratives as they explore the world. Immersing themselves in sprawling imaginative worlds, be they plucked from the silver screen or the pages of their favourite novel. Escapist, playful, page-turning.

During Covid, stories helped us to escape. But now that we can escape for real, we’ve seen a 30% increase in interest in these narrativised approaches to the world; blending fact and fiction, this is travel with all the drama and intrigue of the world’s most enduring movies, novels, myths and legends.

It’s an approach we’ve penned and pioneered. For younger families, there’s ‘Take me on a Story’. Earlier this year, we launched ‘The Grand Adventure’ – a globe-crossing adventure inspired by the life and travels of Agatha Christie. Next year, we’ll be launching The Assignment: Europe, a cinematic odyssey through the heart of James Bond’s Europe – the ultimate character-driven journey.



World Family Robinson

While travel in 2022 was marked by nostalgia and the known, travel in 2023 will be bolder and braver, with clients wanting to push boundaries and lean into the spirit of curiosity, and parts unknown. There is a strong return to multi-center travel, where clients want to experience not one but multiple destinations on a trip (think: Egypt, Jordan and Turkey). This kind of ‘golden-age touring’ takes some inspiration from the early spirit of travel and exploration – and is more intrepid in nature.

At Black Tomato, we’ve seen a 94% increase in client inquiries for this kind of multi-center travel, looking at 2019 vs 2022.

For families with teenagers and more mature children, the family adventure is getting a whole lot bolder, where travel is again seen as an important rite of passage. For these adventurous families, it’s about pioneering a destination and uncovering parts of a locale that others haven’t seen. This is why we launched a new travel service called Field Trip (launched in late 2021). Additionally, one new itinerary inspired by this thinking is a Lara Craft Tomb-Raider style helicopter-archaeology trip to newly discovered Mayan ruins, off-grid in Guatemala.




Moments in Time

As the spectre of Covid put life on hold, it also pulled friendship groups apart – both geographically and emotionally. But today, small group travel is trending upwards, with travelers seeking the value of shared moments and experiences. New memories. Intimate friendships. We’ve seen a pronounced increase in groups of friends looking to hit the road in 2023.

Many clients – including multiple family units – are seeking to tap into the joy of traveling together. To unearth and share rare moments together, be it a sunset sail on the Egyptian Nile aboard an antique dahabiya, or a sensorial hike to the Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan. They’re seeking the type of bespoke travel that Black Tomato are known and loved for. Next year, we’ll be releasing a new product series inspired precisely by these ‘moments in time’.

At Black Tomato, we’re seeing the number of people in small groups trending upward from an average of 9 to 14 (a 64% increase). In turn, a 56% increase in sales for group trips, looking YTD 2022 vs 2021.



Between business and pleasure, we’ve identified a paradigm shift that we call ‘lisness’. The reverse of the old way – of tacking a day or two of relaxation onto a business trip – this is about planning a leisure trip and creating time in which to work. Wherever, whenever. We’re seeing client travels extending – in many cases – into month-long ventures, with a 75/25 leisure/business split. With time to labour and time to lounge (or explore).

“It’s really about taking time to be in-situ, where the value of a strong and stable WiFi connection and the rise of ‘flexible’ and remote working has paved the way for a ‘new normal’ in modern work. Infinitely remixable, this is ‘work life balance’ that actually works for the traveller.”

Tom Marchant | Black Tomato co-founder

Increasingly, clients are posing all manner of suggestions grounded in lisness. Why not work for half a day, every other day, and spend more time in the destination itself? Or work for three days at the start of a trip, followed by ten days for leisure and exploration at the end.

It is an infinitely remixable proposition. One that allows the traveller to truly get inside their destination, looking at it from the inside out – a home away from home, an office away from the office. And not a water-cooler in sight (just your new favourite local café).




One of the best ways to unlock the secrets of the world’s vast tapestry of cultures is by going directly to the source. Driven – in part – by the cultural relevance of documentaries and journalism that spotlights the ‘artisanal’ origins of everything from silks to tribal wares (as well as food), it offers a chance to dig deeper and look closer in our increasingly commoditized world – at the confluence of authenticity and connoisseurship.

This goes far beyond the tasting room. Instead, it uses travel to unearth the origins and history of everything from ancient recipes and material culture to traditional lifeways and sustainability. Less market tours, more cultural insight – like learning about the rituals of coffee in Jaffa, Israel, or sustainable planting and growing in Colombia.

This is elemental stuff. It’s about diving deep and drawing close. An insight into beekeeping in Italy, or cheesemaking in Sardinia. You’ll meet the makers, glean their insights and practices. This – ultimately – is authentic, transformative, and real, and tells a much deeper story about who we are and our place in the world.

Tom Marchant Profile Image
TOM MARCHANT Black Tomato co-founder

Tom Marchant is the co-founder of award-winning, tailormade luxury travel company Black Tomato. Recognised as an innovator and leading authority in the industry, Tom founded Black Tomato in 2005 with the aim of creating a business that reflected the needs and personalities of clients for whom the existing travel market offered nothing unique.


Since 2005, Black Tomato have created immersive, luxurious, and personalised trips across the world for their network of discerning and worldly travellers. Each Black Tomato itinerary is tailored expertly for the traveller at hand, placing an emphasis on the rare, the undiscovered, and the truly authentic.