Modern luxury travelers seek genuine and authentic connection points. They want to experience the provenance and culture of the places they visit, including the people who call them home.
They also want to feel genuinely welcomed and understood, with an understanding that their needs are pre-empted and that the travel journey is as much about them as it is the destination. These are the 5 C’s that define today’s luxury travel experience.
Unlike the old stereotype of the free-spending millionaire—think Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island—the new affluent client has a broader middle-class sensibility and demand value within the context of their purchase. They’re willing to pay for an experience that gives them the wow factor, like a Caravaggio-inspired one-on-one painting class in Rome or a personal wine blend session with a professional chef and sommelier at their private villa.
Aside from the five C’s, there is also a continued disruption to packaged travel tours, cruises and other traditional mainstays by a new breed of luxury travel companies. These are nimble and innovative, providing consumers with more choice to orchestrate their own unique travel experiences.
Luxury travel advisors are focusing on education and the development of strong relationships with partners in each destination. They’re looking for partners that offer more personalized service and a variety of immersive experiences to create the ideal trip for their clients, from lodging to activities. They’re also partnering with providers that are leveraging technology to make it easier for them to deliver the high-touch experience that is expected of the luxury brand.