Whether it’s champagne at liftoff or a butler to pack and unpack, luxury travel brands promise a maximum of pleasure with a minimum of stress. These experiences are often highly personal and intimate, offering a glimpse into a lifestyle that’s both indulgent and authentic. The five C’s—Culture, Cuisine, Community, Content and Customization—are driving new trends in the luxury travel sector as operators and destinations look for ways to attract these discerning customers.
Having grown accustomed to high standards of service in the digital age, this generation of consumers defines luxury less by the thread count of bed sheets than by access to local culture and experiences that represent all that is authentic about a place. These luxury travelers also want to be connected with the world around them through technology and seek out experiences that allow them to express their own individual identity.
While these needs have shifted during the pandemic, they remain consistent with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—the theory that everyone has basic needs for survival, safety, love, self-esteem and a sense of belonging. The need for a hassle-free experience is critical to luxury travelers, and that’s where technology comes into play.
Streamlining the trip planning process is key to ensuring luxury guests feel confident in booking a flight or a hotel. Using mobile apps, hotels can provide information on the nearest ATM or taxi options and even allow guests to pre-check in for their flights. In the future, virtual and augmented reality may further enhance the travel experience.