What does luxury mean to you? For some, it’s private jets, personalized pajamas and in-room massages. For others, it’s seeing rare wild animals in far-flung places or dining in the world’s hardest-to-book restaurants. And yet for still others, it’s simply a matter of how much you drop. Luxury, after all, is a slippery concept.
And while luxury may still be synonymous with opulence and excess, today’s wealthy travelers look for more than just flashy hotels and lavish experiences. They seek enrichment, with a renewed interest in wellness incorporated into travel and authentic cultural experiences that allow them to forge deeper connections with local communities.
The luxury travel market has never been more democratized than it is now, thanks to rising disposable incomes, shifts in lifestyle priorities and the rise of platforms like Instagram and TikTok where influencers jet set around the globe and regale their followers with tales of their #luxurytravel adventures. And while millennials are driving this trend, they are being followed closely by a younger generation even more eager to explore the world – a group raised on independence, individualism and, of course, Instagram.
These affluent explorers, many of whom have kids in the mix, are bringing a new perspective to the broader luxury travel space and creating new opportunities for the industry to innovate and adapt. For them, true luxury is less about the tangible – though high thread-count sheets and unlimited Champagne certainly play a role – and more about a seamless and logical experience that leaves them feeling genuinely connected to their destination.