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The Five Trends Changing Luxury Travel Today

March 30, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

The trends are the emergence of the new luxury consumer, the trend to learning and enrichment, the need to put something back, the rise of the ephemeral and instant, and the unwavering need for greatservice.

In the Limited Access Luxury Travel Report, developed with Executive PA magazine and the Luxperience annual travel show, says modern luxury travel reflects wider macro-economic trends. These include rising levels of inequality, which make conspicuous public displays of wealth less acceptable.

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. In short, experience transcends dollars at the higher end of luxury travel. The consequence: demand for luxury experiences seems to be growing faster than the demand for luxury goods.

Other trends are in play, says Carolyn Childs, the report’s author and co-founder of

“Beyond the growth in experiential travel overall, there is clear evidence of a rise in a more fragmented, informed and demanding luxury travel audience,” she says.

Some things don’t change. 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 following realities now apply to the modern luxury travel market, says Childs

  1. 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)
  2. Expectations are growing fast. Luxury travellers are better prepared and expect more than ever
  3. The rise of wellbeing, multi-generational travel and learning are all important sub trends
  4. 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.
  5. 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 behaviour that is increasingly open to scrutiny. Many meetings clients still long for the more innovative and unique events. Accordingly, if event planners can demonstrate ROI, budget will be found, says Childs.

“For more than 3,000 years luxury consumption has adapted to wider socio-economic circumstances. Luxury never disappears – it just reinvents itself,” she notes.

The full report report drills down into multiple aspects of the modern luxury travel industry.

The report was based on extensive consultancy including meta-analysis of recent global published trends in the sector, an online survey of 153 luxury travel buyers, consumers and high-end event organizers and participants recruited via Luxperience and Executive PA. It also drew on in-depth interviews with luxury buyers and executive/personal assistants, detailed briefings from Luxperience organizers, and two forums with event planners servicing the high net worth sector.

The Limited Access: Luxury Travel Research Report is available for purchase now. Insight packages begin from AUD497 (USD380/€352/£304).

You can hear more about the five key trends at two special report launch webinars taking place March 28 at 1200 AEDST (Sydney time) and March 29 at 0600 AEDST (Sydney time).

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