Luxury travel is no longer just for celebrities, tycoons or heirs to multimillion-dollar dog food empires. Thanks to rising disposable incomes for some and a shift in priorities for others, the lux sector is growing fast and is a real possibility for many more travelers who either aspire to it or can afford it. As a result, there is a whole new generation of luxury travelers looking for unique, authentic experiences that have a real impact on who they are as people. They want to feel like they are part of a community and not just a face in the crowd.
They may be single or travelling with family or a small group of friends. They may be looking for adventure or pure relaxation. They are likely to be high net worth individuals and are looking for a premium experience. They are interested in a wide range of experiences and the ability to customize their trips.
Aside from the obvious amenities such as high thread count sheets and unlimited Champagne, these luxury travellers are also interested in wellness incorporated into itineraries and climate-conscious options. These new factors have shifted what it means to be the ‘best’ in the luxury market.
For example, a hotel or cruise line that has exceptional service and staff who come to know their guests, offer personalized recommendations and treat them like family can still be considered the best luxury option for some. Similarly, a tour group operator that offers exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to amazing museums and other places most travelers don’t see can still be considered the ‘best’ for some.
The way they arrive at their destination is a key factor for many luxury travelers as well. This can include private jets, helicopters or chauffeur driven cars. Many of these transportation methods will allow them to avoid crowded airports, flying on a full flight or being seated next to strangers. This is a big benefit when time and peace of mind are important.
Other aspects of luxury travel that are increasingly important include a sense of community and exclusivity. This is particularly the case for those traveling alone or with a small group of close friends. They are looking for a unique experience that is authentic and one that is not easily replicated.
As a result, luxury travel brands need to ensure they are offering these unique experiences. They also need to be able to market these experiences in a way that speaks to the specific needs of the luxury traveler. This will include targeted digital marketing to attract these travellers and leveraging their existing networks to promote the experiences on offer. In addition, they need to be flexible in their itineraries to meet the changing needs of the luxury traveler. This will help them remain relevant and competitive.