For many people, the word “luxury” brings to mind images of private jets, bespoke pajamas and a world-class massage. While those elements still have their place, the definition of luxury has shifted since the pandemic: now, it’s about creating memories that transcend the mundane. They’re about the 24-carat version of oneself, and the best way to capture that is by traveling to exotic locales for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
That reprioritization has also transformed the upper echelons of travel, with more and more luxury travelers looking for authentic experiences, wellness incorporated into itineraries and climate-conscious options. It’s a balancing act that’s changing the face of the industry, and some experts are seeing exciting new possibilities for the future.
Luxury travelers are seeking unique experiences
The luxury travel market is thriving, with bookings for 2023 up by double-digit percentages. However, with so many different definitions of what luxury means, it’s a slippery concept to pin down. Travel advisors say that to sell luxury, they must understand their clients’ desires, needs and interests — and then use their knowledge of the destination and local suppliers to match them with the right offerings.
For example, Kuflik says that she’s seeing an increase in interest for rail trips such as Vietnam’s Viettage train between Danang and Quy Nhon, which offers semi-private seating areas with three-course gourmet meals, wi-fi access and a head and neck massage included. Other advisors are planning entire trips around destination events, such as a concert or festival, to ensure that their clients experience the full flavor of a destination.