Do you remember the days when luxury travel was about experiencing a five-star hotel or resort and enjoying its amenities without experiencing the surroundings? During the past decade or so, luxury travelers are way more adventurous. They are also interested in having a more authentic experience, tasting local food, and getting to know local culture and customs.
The leading players in the travel industry, especially travel agencies, understand that luxury travel has changed and that a new set of expectations have been set. As private jet providers, we are also seeing this with our passengers, especially after travel reopened completely after mid-2022 – they want increased flexibility and to control the full extent of their travel experience.
We have prepared the top 5 trends to look for when providing a seamless service to the modern luxury traveler.
A personalized experience is arguably the most coveted and expensive aspect of luxury travel. It’s a standard that travelers expect, like the possibility to fully customize a private jet flight, and it should start well beyond the travel date in order to meet all the requirements. This can go from sourcing a specific menu to celebrating a special occasion or a guided tour through the destination. Furthermore, customized on-location private tours are also a focus in today’s luxury travel ecosystem and are aligned with experiencing the true culture of each place.
Depending on the selected travel arrangement, whether staying at a 5-star resort or a luxury cruise, flexible check-in and check-out itineraries add great value. Like the flexibility provided by private aviation, where passengers can set their departure time and arrive just minutes before takeoff, luxury travelers expect to choose between different dining slots and types of restaurants. This is possible by knowing beforehand their interests and what type of cuisine and overall experience they are looking for.
In this day and age, travelers are seeking experiences instead of material objects. Experiential travel grants the possibility to immerse in a community and truly live a part of their culture and traditions by allowing travelers to experience something new like actually cooking a meal with local ingredients they bought at the market or learning how to play a local instrument. In essence, authentic experiences that require trying something new will add tremendous value to luxury travelers.
Receiving information in real-time or having the possibility to pre-check in via an app it’s part of the experience. Mobile apps allow travelers to receive restaurant and activity recommendations for their destination while some hotels and resorts have gone beyond and incorporated smart rooms into the luxury experience of their guests while allowing them to control lighting, heating, and even music through an app.
Luxury travelers want to find out the off-grid hidden gems of each location, even if they visit popular destinations like Paris, London, or the Greek islands. They want fewer crowds during their sightseeing experience while visiting lesser-known locations with the possibility to get more involved with the local customs. Uncrowded and quieter options are also usually safer for any kind of tourist, which is a fact that shouldn’t be overlooked when offering an exclusive travel alternative.
The luxury travel industry is a fascinating ecosystem with constantly evolving expectations from the consumer. Understanding their needs before the start of their travel experience will add tremendous value and allow those offering tailored services like travel agencies, to constantly adapt to the moving trends of this unique industry.
From flexible private jets to get to the destination to 5-star hospitality options and top-notch cruises, the luxury travel industry is expected to continue growing in demand during the foreseeable future, welcoming new entrants in the market like high-end Gen X and Millennial travelers, which have a different set of expectations and needs compared to the more traditional baby boomer generation.