Luxury travel is a niche that has traditionally been relatively stable in any given economic downturn. However, in order to approach and work in any market, the first step is to understand it thoroughly.
From the extensive experience Carmen has in this field, she asked her associates and network of specialists the following questions about the luxury travel sector to get a comprehensive understanding of this unique sector.
What is luxury travel?
According to the responses, “a luxury trip is defined by the uniqueness and exclusivity of the experience, as well as the personalisation of the services.”
What choices are popular?
According to the feedback, “high-level tourists first choose the destination and then the on-site service, ideally exclusive boutique hotels, followed by international hotels” when making a purchase.
What are the customer demographics, needs, and habits?
Interestingly, the bulk of customers are couples from Generation X and looks to set to continue with their dominant market share.
These clients “look for leisure and comfort while on vacation, and they also enjoy sampling gourmet food, seeing local culture, and going on nature excursions.”
They are, in any event, travellers who are “more tuned into real value for money rather than the actual price.”
The luxurious tourist profile includes adults aged 30 to 40, with high spending power, an annual income of more than 150,000 euros, and who travel at least four times each year.
They are visitors who return to the same place and lodging, emphasising quality, seclusion, and exclusivity, and who often travel between August and December.
54% of these sorts of tourists spend between 5,000 and 10,000 euros every trip, with more exclusive arrangements costing up to 50,000 euros.
In a recent study focused on the trends in the industry, it was found that luxury enthusiasts continue to search for unique experiences to improve their well-being and self-worth.
Many of them are conscious of their consumption having a negative impact on the environment so they tend to lean towards brands that mix luxury and sustainable tourism.
They have elevated themselves to a different level of consumption and try to separate themselves from mass products.
Experts predict that on-demand services, driven by the increasing use of mobile phones, will reconnect with customer expectations and that there will be endless opportunities to provide various and improved approaches to the evolution of luxury travel.
Luxury travellers have long sought deeper and more real ties with the places they visit; tailored and co-created experiences provide stories worthy of sharing in order to enhance their experiences, but it also helps them stand out from the crowd. However, many of them now want to create experiences that are tailored to their specific interests, desires, and values; journeys that allow them to show the world who they are and what they stand for.
The majority of luxury tourists still book offline and rely on the advice of a travel agent and get ideas and info online through specialised sites and blogs dedicated to luxury travel.
Word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family and online reviews still play a significant role in finding the right location and options.
As for the most popular locations, the Maldives, Asia, the United States, Europe, South Africa, Dubai, French Polynesia, as well as the Caribbean, are the most searched destinations.
What’s expected in the coming years is that people looking at luxury travel options will be more demanding as well as knowledgeable, and desire eco-friendly travel solutions. Over the next 2-3 years, luxury travel is projected to grow by 6-10%.
As you can see, there is much to learn and understand about luxury travel and with its evolution, industry experts say that providers need to become more creative with their offerings and the unique packages they offer.