Travel Agents

Five trends shaping the future of luxury

Hannah Edensor

The latest in industry research from Sabre Corporation has identified five key ‘Future of Luxury’ trends for travellers.

The trends tap into the human desire to feel like their trip is totally unique, and how luxury can still be sustainable.

According to the report, travellers want new and open experiences, but still want “to find purpose and cultivate empathy for others while doing so”.

As a result, travel brands and products are starting to offer “individualized and transformative forms of luxury,” according to Sabre.

Sabre also noted that “luxury has always been intrinsically linked to consumer’s quest for status”, so travel agents, take note; you should aim to “shape experiences around traveler’s emotions and help them discover new aspects of their own personalities in the process,” if you want them to feel like this was a truly personalised and transformative experience.

So let’s dive into these five luxury trends.

  1. The Quintessential Self

Consumers are far more wealthy than they’ve ever been before, and this has opened a lot more doors for luxury travel.

“The Experience Economy turned amazing vacations into the expected. Digital connection widened the scope of people’s lives – the social access, resources and knowledge – beyond recognition,” says the report.

As a result, travellers are looking for an experience that completely satisfies their various emotional needs. Sabre calls this an endless search to realise the idealised version of themselves that they carry around in their head.

“They are looking for brands to help them in that quest, and if the results make for shareable content ‘I’m doing this, you probably haven’t heard of it yet,’ then that’s even better.”

 

For those seeking the QUINTESSENTIAL SELF, the quest for self-improvement doesn’t mean compromising on self-indulgence.

The report referenced Maverick Helicopters as an example. It’s a helicopter company that offers luxury yoga experiences, because self-actualizers do yoga. Status seekers prefer a helicopter.

The 2.5-hour experience also includes a Champagne toast post-class, and limousine transportation.

It also mentioned the Les Monastere Des Augustines, a monastery-turned-wellness hotel, named by National Geographic as the number one vacation spot for ‘a physical and mental reboot’.

Some of the holistic health practices offered by the not-for-profit hotel, which occupies wings of a 17th-century monastery and hospital, include a silent breakfast, yoga, and meditation.

  1. No-Frills Chic

A growing number of luxe travellers are no longer thrilled with brands and status, and find themselves more interested in quality, aesthetic and purpose, according to Sabre. These are the ‘post-status’ consumers.

“Now, many luxury travelers are looking for a more subtle indulgence, choosing low-key brands, products and services over showy opulence. This understated luxury functions as a blank canvas, giving the individual the chance to express their identity, rather than one prescribed by a brand,” the report says.

As a result, they’re on the hunt for off-the-grid experiences that convey prestige because they are unique and in stark contrast to traditional luxury.

Think Louis Vuitton’s latest range of ‘subtly’ branded luggage, to appease the travellers who want chic without all the labels.

  1. Premium Redeemed

NO FRILLS CHIC is luxury re-imagined for post-status consumers, according to Sabre.

So consider how you can create products, services and experiences that communicate the values of the consumer, rather than the brand.

“Thanks to an ever-greater awareness of the impact of their actions, many travelers feel increasingly guilty about the negative impact their consumption has on the environment, society and their health,” the report states.

“The result? A growing desire for indulgence without the guilt.”

 

So, per the report, enter the luxurious Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat, which opened last September in Nicaragua’s rural countryside.

It offers sandboarding down an active volcano and horseback riding on 1,300 reforested acres, BUT was founded by the not-for-profit American Nicaraguan Foundation, meaning the hotel seeks to educate visitors about improving local employment, sustainable farming and environmental ownership and responsibility.

  1. Extravagance on Demand

On-demand services have always been part of the luxury experience. But then a wave of on-demand startups made everything – from laundry services to taxis to manicures – available to the masses.

“Now, on-demand and access economies are now the way of life for millions of ‘ordinary’ consumers across the globe. “

The very real benefits that on-demand and access bring – freedom from the hassle of ownership, instant gratification, and more – are universal. Luxury consumers aren’t about to set themselves apart by opting out of that.

Instead, these consumers will push their on-demand mindset to new highs, and into entirely new domains of consumerism.

One example was Recharge, an app allowing users to reserve luxury hotel rooms by the minute, which made its NYC debut in April 2017.

Users pay only for the amount of time they need (without having to book for an entire night’s stay), and the on-demand platform enables hotels to generate revenue from rooms during times (particularly the daytime) when they aren’t typically in use.

The Vintage Fashion Trunk is another example. A partnership between luxury vintage fashion e-tailer Vestiaire Collective and The Berkeley Hotel in London, this fun travel trend allows guests to borrow vintage designer items free of charge “including Chanel purses, Dior earrings and Herme’s silk scarves” dating from the 1950s to the 1980s.

  1. Customyzed

“I’m an individual. So treat me like one!” is the concept of this trend, according to Sabre.

Now, many luxury travellers want to construct experiences that align with their unique interests, needs and values.

“They are eschewing a ‘one size fits all’ approach for trips that are imbued with meaning and allow them to tell the world who they are and what they stand for.

Last year, for example, London-based Travel Unwrapped launched something known as ‘DNA Unwrapped’; travel itineraries inspired by travellers’ unique DNA.

Users take a DNA test (a cheek swab mailed to a partner lab) to discover their family ancestry, and Travel Unwrapped helps build an itinerary inspired by their genetic makeup. Cool, or what?

Blink is another luxury travel company that creates customised pop-up hotels – yes pop-up!

The luxury travel company is offering personalised pop-up holiday experiences in rare and remote locations around the world. Each trip is designed to be entirely unique, with examples including temporary camps set up in the Moroccan desert, Bolivian salt flats or the Andes.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Hooray! Qantas and Jetstar increase domestic flights

Like Travel Weekly’s editor, this news is sure to have you making plane engine sounds with your mouth in celebration.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Langham expands to the Gold Coast, IHG launches domestic recovery campaign + MORE

Keen to convince your clients that hotels really are on the mend? Introduce them to this week’s Hotel Wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation workers hold rallies across Australia to demand JobKeeper access

The rallies took place as new research revealed that 70 per cent of workers have been stood down, with 40 per cent unable to receive JobKeeper.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea unveils a whopping 86 new itineraries

Got a client who’s keen to get back on the seven seas? Get their attention with this big new offering from Silversea.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Luxperience goes virtual for 2020

Had you lost all hope that the premier luxury travel event was still going ahead this year? Restore it here with this.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

ASIC reviewing Rex statements over capital city expansion

Australia’s corporate watchdog is reportedly reviewing comments from Regional Express Holdings’ deputy chairman, which potentially breached the Corporations Act.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Avis launches subscription service, Rail Europe’s new site and app coming soon + MORE

After stopping off the side of the highway for a quick kip, Travel Weekly’s Road & Rail Wrap is back, all nice and refreshed.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Cyprus offers to pay travellers’ COVID-19 bills

Cyprus has gone to new lengths to lure travellers back to the Mediterranean by offering to pay costs for anyone whose trip is ruined by COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Major Japanese theme parks ask guests not to scream on rollercoasters

As the world begins to reopen, tourism operators have begun rolling out new and creative ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This one is particularly unusual.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Cover-More CEO exits

The global travel insurance provider has waved goodbye to its chief, but not before signing him up to a premium policy.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Afterpay makes online travel play

If COVID-19 wasn’t already enough of a challenge for travel agents, a new OTA has entered the ring.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Malaysia’s new Aussie director on the destination’s big marketing shift

by Huntley Mitchell

The destination is placing much more of a focus on its digital presence and “smart partnerships”, as it looks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments