The luxury travel market is a lucrative and growing industry that encompasses everything from private island escapes to exclusive tours of untouched cultures. But what makes a cruise line, tour group operator, lodge, destination or airline ‘the best’? The modern gold standard is a complex one. It involves an array of attributes including exceptional service, staff that take the time to understand your preferences and treat you like family, a wide range of quality food and beverage options that are both varied and delicious, as well as great locations (whether centrally in cities or in magical, remote destinations).
Affluent consumers express a clear desire to indulge in meaningful travel experiences. In fact, a third of affluent travelers and almost half of young affluents are willing to pay more for meaningful travel offerings such as an opportunity to connect with local culture and environment.
As the demand for meaningful and authentic travel experiences grows, the challenge for luxury brands becomes how to balance this increased emphasis on authenticity with the need to maintain high levels of comfort and convenience. This new generation of affluent travellers are looking for experiences that offer a mix of the traditional and the innovative, but they also want their trips to be stress free and to allow them to disconnect from their everyday routines. They are looking for a ‘frictionless’ approach to their travel, which might include a no-fee cancellation policy or early check-in. They are also looking for flexible itineraries and a can-do attitude from their accommodation providers.