Around two-thirds of all luxury travellers still rely on specialist advisors and travel agents to make their high-end trips a reality, according to a new report.
The findings, from a study by market research firm MyTravelResearch.com, were released in Sydney today.
Co-founder, Carolyn Childs, said: “Luxury travel is a high reward, high investment sector. Suppliers need to invest in service, design, quality and uniqueness at all times.”
But she warned would-be entrants into the sector: “When servicing luxury clients there are no days off and no off days.
“Despite emerging trends, luxury travel is still a place for unabashedly individualistic and hedonistic experiences.”
She told the Luxperience luxury travel trade show that the Asia Pacific region now has the fastest accumulation of new High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in the world, growing at around 10% per year.
The US and Asia Pacific have approximately five million HNWIs each and Europe around 4.5 million, according to a Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report.
Childs said that since the global financial crisis in 2008 there has been a new emphasis on privacy and less ostentatious displays of wealth.
The luxury market is now defined by nine key trends, outlined in the study :
• A demographic widening away from the dominance of the 40-60 year old age group, especially in emerging luxury markets such as China and India
• A new focus on experiential travel at the expense of hedonism and display
• A growth in mindfulness and wellbeing as HNWIs turn to nature (such as the Galapagos, Iceland, the Antarctic) to replenish body and soul
• Making the most of ephemeral events such as solar eclipses or even staying at temporary hotels at music festivals
• A new commitment to learning and enrichment such as studying photography with a famous cameraman or attending ‘thought leadership’ sanctuaries where you can combine cerebral workouts with surfing, skiing and diving
• The rise of responsible travel such as activities that support economic, social or environmental sustainability – for example El Nido Resort in the Philippines or Song Saa Island in Cambodia
• A new focus on family life in travel, as rich baby boomers recompense for working hard much of their life by spending more time with children and grand children. This has led to a rise in multi-generational cruising and luxury private holiday rentals together
• Traditions re-imagined, making ‘old’ products like golf at St. Andrews or regency hotels in Sydney or London attractive to younger luxury travellers, especially those from China and India
• The growth of river and ocean cruising and private yachting with everything on board taken care of.
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