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Emerging Trends in Luxury Travel

Now more than ever, trust, safety and flexibility are paramount when booking your next vacation, which is why it’s more important than ever to work with a trusted travel advisor. As borders start to reopen, and people begin to feel more confident about travel, key trends are emerging about what the future of luxury travel will look like.

International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) – the world’s largest portfolio of luxury travel events – has released new data based on a  sample of over 1000 private planners, individuals and travel agencies across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East, Russia and Africa.

These are some of the key trends:

  • Since the outbreak of COVID-19, two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed said they had taken travel bookings from their clients
  • Over 50% of these bookings are due to take place before December 2020
  • 72% of Concierge Companies received substantial bookings
  • Of the air travel already booked, 39% is domestic and 27% is long haul trips
  • Over 50% of all the planners and agents surveyed said they were confident the industry will rebound within a year
  • Of those yet to take a booking, 72% anticipate a climb in bookings within 3 months

Luxury travelers are already setting new trends with 59% personal travel advisors saying that their clients are wanting information on travel by luxury automobile as their preferred choice for their first vacations which shows a trend for domestic luxury travel as a priority in the early stages of the return to leisure trips.

Alison Gilmore, ILTM Portfolio Director added: “These first trips will be closer to home as families start to come together again, and the research also showed a preference for private villas too.  Shorter trips were also preferred meaning there could be more of them as the opportunity to “catch up” occurs.  The use of private jets is also high up on preferences so that their trips can be taken at short notice and allows for group travel to be within their own family and friends.”

When travel advisors around the globe were asked what their top choices would be for their next leisure trips, respondents chose:

Beach Escapes, Family Travel, Private Villas, Natural Wonders, Road Trips, Cruises, Cultural & Unique Excursions/experiences. At the same time over 20% showed preferences to focus on sustainability, and conscious travel with health and wellness related travel itineraries also featuring as a first choice.

More people are seeking private villa-style vacations allowing for a more controlled environment that is safe and exclusive.

Wymara Resort and Villas, Turks and Caicos

The survey also outlined how agents believe the keys to encourage client bookings are: the availability of a vaccine, the lifting of travel bans and borders opening, health, security and safety standards (both in flight and at hotels) the relaxation of quarantine/self-isolating, and the flexibility of booking and cancellation terms.

Some positive changes have come from the lock-down with agents saying the time allowed them to “re-structure businesses and adapt to the changes in the travel industry and their customers”.  Others said they benefited from the opportunities to learn from the many webinars and online conferences, whilst the time was also spent “strengthening client relationships, with time to touch base and just chat”.

The future may be uncertain, however, these trends do show positive movement in the luxury travel industry and people’s desire to travel soon.

For further information, see @ILTM_events and #ILTMCannes.

(Photo credit: Wymara Resort & Villas)