Insights on Luxury Travel’s Future

Editor's Letter: Insights on Luxury Travel’s Future

Hotel developers are always thinking about the future. The consumer trends we are seeing now will be reflected in the properties that they open in the future.

At the IHIF in Berlin in May, we looked at ” The Evolution of Luxury, from Hotel to Residential.” We were able to fully understand what hotel developers see as trends as they plan their hotels of the future, while we attended virtually.

1. You can bet that future hotels will be designed to deliver an even more local experience than we are seeing now if they are told that is the top trend by the developers. It’s no longer acceptable to visit an ultra-luxury hotel that could be in India, Berlin, or Minneapolis. The CEO of GOCO wants a hotel interior that reflects the true elegance and culture he is in.

2. The “3 Ps:” Personal, Private, Purpose” are what luxury is all about. People do not want the same experience as another customer. It’s just a villa, an island or a boat where other customers aren’t around. Travelers want to know how their luxury vacation is affecting the environment. They don’t want to be in a place with a lot of other people, so they go back to private experiences.

3. If you want to see other people or have dinner in a great restaurant, you want a resort to wander over to. Do you think this is a Takeaway? Stand-alone villas will be co-located with hotels and resorts in the future.

4. New-build hotels will reflect that wellness is now a $4.7 trillion industry and warn against well-washing, where a hotel will promote itself as a wellness facility but isn’t really “all in;” it has a spa and a manager who isn’t. Do you think this is a Takeaway? It is important to research what is really on offer in a hotel.

5. The length of stay will get longer. If one goes through the trials of getting to a destination, they may as well stay longer. Flight times will get even longer as destinations more remote than Europe reopen. Do you think this is a Takeaway? Future resorts will have full-blown residential homes as part of the offer and in some cases, standalone branded residences are being developed.

6. Wealthy travelers have money to spend. Even though they have youth, they want to go to a luxury hotel. Is this a good thing? Future ultra-luxury hotels will appeal to all age groups, not shying from the safer side of luxury. Design, service, and that local flavor are impacted by this.

7. The price sensitivity at the high end is gone. Super-wealthy people were known to question the cost of a luxury vacation. It looks like travel clients are willing to pay for what they want.

The future is bright as luxury travel products are getting better every day.