The Luxury Travel trend is more about experience than gilt finishes and white gloves. It’s about personal fulfillment, and high-net-worth travelers are seeking experiences that align with their values and allow them to distinguish themselves as a brand. It may be a private jet to a far-flung destination for a once-in-a-lifetime safari, or a multi-generational family retreat in Umbria with an exclusive chef and sommelier.
The 5 C’s of Luxury Travel—Culture, Cuisine, Community, Content and Customization—are increasingly important in luxury travel. Travel brands that can meet these needs in innovative ways will maintain their position as a leader in the space.
Personalized, co-created and immersive experiences are the new definition of luxury. Whether it’s a Caravaggio-inspired one-on-one painting class in Rome or an intimate dinner for two with the world’s best chefs at their own home, these experiences are what will keep luxury travelers coming back.
Affluent consumers want to stay at the most unique hotels and experience new restaurants, museum exhibits and local sites. They also want to incorporate luxury trains and cruises into their private tours, such as a few nights on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express in Europe or the Belmond Aqua Mekong in Southeast Asia.
Money doesn’t necessarily matter to luxury travelers, but it must be paired with an experience that is worth the price tag. As such, they are less receptive to discounts and deals. They instead seek to improve their overall satisfaction and ensure the hotel experience is worthy of the luxury label, and will be more receptive to higher prices in exchange for an improved guest experience.