The idea of luxury is morphing into something more elusive and ethereal. Whether they’re affluent celebrities or tycoons or heirs to multimillion-dollar dog food empires, today’s luxury travelers are chasing an experience that allows them to feel like the best version of themselves. That could mean a hotel room with a 24-carat gold sink or a private island resort in an exotic locale. It could also be a trip that focuses on wellness, cultural immersion or climate-conscious options.
Regardless of their definition of luxury, many luxury travel advisors agree that today’s affluent consumers expect hidden value from their vacation experiences. They want exceptional service, staff that get to know their needs and treat them like family, quality and varied dining options, a great location (centrally in cities or magical, remote locations) and a sense of exclusivity.
Millennials may be the kingpin of this new luxury market, but the next generation is equally eager to explore. Travel advisors are seeing younger consumers from all income levels say they’re interested in travel. They want to see new hotels and museum exhibits and experience unique events or festivals. Some advisors are helping their clients plan entire trips around events, such as a music festival or an art exhibition at a top destination. Others are working to incorporate the latest event or hotel opening into their existing itineraries.