According to GlobalData, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an influx of consumer travel trends in the luxury travel market. This includes an anticipated boom in private aviation services at the high end of the market, remote working from overseas and demand for private buyouts of large villas or boutique hotels.
The leading data and analytics company’s latest study found that as luxury travellers resume travelling domestically and internationally in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, they may begin to seek more immersive and exceptional experiences.
“With travellers determined to make up for lost time, 2022 could see an increase in holiday budgets for luxury travellers, with an uptick in demand for ‘once in a lifetime’ adventures,” explained Hannah Free, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData. “According to a GlobalData poll, when respondents were asked if their holiday budgets had changed due to COVID-19, 16 percent reported their budgets were ’a lot higher than pre-COVID-19’. In comparison, 12 percent of respondents stated their budgets were ‘slightly higher than pre-COVID-19’.”
Despite the demand for luxury travel, a growing demographic of socially conscious, high-net-worth consumers are rejecting overt displays of wealth in favour of discreet and responsible consumption. Their approach to luxury is fuelled by ethical living, artisanship, authenticity and sustainability. For these travellers, who seek self-fulfilment through greener travel while wanting to do good for the planet, experience is the new currency.
If luxury travel brands ignore this consumer trend, it may put them at immense risk of total disconnect from an audience looking for sustainable options.
Although the pandemic has altered many aspects of luxury travel, several defining features still set the sector apart from mass-market tourism, including hyper-personalisation, exclusivity, unique experiences, intuitive service, and the ever-important element of ‘human touch’.