Luxury travel is no longer predicated by ostentation but high-end consumers are becoming more demanding, new research reveals.
In tandem with less ostentation, “higher spiritual and emotional motives” are now coming more into play – such as the need for inner fulfillment, creativity, self esteem, belonging and contentedness.
Modern luxury travel reflects wider macro-economic trends. These include rising levels of inequality, which make conspicuous public displays of wealth less acceptable, according to the report.
“In short, experience transcends dollars at the higher end of luxury travel,” the study by MyTravel Research.com says.
“The consequence – demand for luxury experiences seems to be growing faster than the demand for luxury goods.”
The report identifies five trends and characteristics defining luxury travel today – emergence of the new luxury consumer; learning and enrichment; the need to put something back; the rise of the ephemeral and instant, and an unwavering need for great service.
Report author Carolyn Childs, co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com, said: “Beyond the growth in experiential travel overall, there is clear evidence of a rise in a more fragmented, informed and demanding luxury travel audience.”
This means that luxury travellers are placing an even greater emphasis on service. They are also increasingly insisting on a wider diversity of experiences.
“Empowered by the internet and a surplus of service providers in the luxury sector, high-end travellers are becoming more demanding,” the report adds.
It highlights that:
• The luxury market is both growing and diversifying. There are many new younger millionaires and women are a growth sector – they have always been important in planning luxury travel
• Expectations are growing fast. Luxury travellers are better prepared and expect more than ever
• The rise of wellbeing, multi-generational travel and learning are all important sub trends
• The cruise market continues to make in-roads into the luxury sector and has been agile in exploiting the many emerging trends
affecting the affluent travel sector.
• Value is growing more important. This is truer for high-end meetings and events, but also in leisure travel. This trend is linked to the sense that travel is a behaviour that is increasingly open to scrutiny. Many meetings clients still long for the more innovative and unique events. If event planners can demonstrate ROI, budget will be found.
The report was developed with Executive PA magazine and the Luxperience annual travel show. It covers analysis of recent global published trends in the sector, an online survey of 153 luxury travel buyers, consumers and high-end event organisers and participants recruited via Luxperience and Executive PA.
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