What’s the key to success in luxury travel? A new research report identifies personal relationships, value, simplicity and seamless service as the main drivers of the luxury travel market. The report, commissioned by the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), reveals the changing pattern of luxury travel on a global basis. It also takes into consideration the impact of the financial crisis and the rapid increase in demand for luxury from the emerging markets.
ILTM’s “The Future of Luxury Travel” report, prepared by Horwarth HTL, was unveiled on June 13 at ILTM Asia in Shanghai, which features luxury travel buyers from across Asia Pacific. The report highlights four distinct profiles of luxury travelers for 2011-2012: the independent minded – those seeking the authentic, active and personalized; the explorer – those seeking incredible experiences at limitless budgets; candidates to luxury – those seeking high quality, high service; and streetwise purchasers – those younger, social media experts.
The report finds luxury travelers of today look to be entertained and stimulated rather than simply pampered. The independent-minded luxury traveler seeks authenticity, simplicity and a commitment to the local environment, paying greater interest in closer contact with local culture as an integral part of their travel experiences. The explorer also is ready to pay a high price for an outstanding experience off the beaten tracks.
Emerging destinations are increasingly popular, satisfying the demand for the new and exclusive as well as reflecting local experiences. For candidates to luxury, time is tantamount and there is a need for all elements of their travel plans to work seamlessly. Equally important for all three of these groups is the development of the personal relationships between luxury buyers and their clients, meaning “knowledge is power,” something that could be critical for high-end sellers of luxury travel.
Meanwhile, streetwise purchasers increasingly use social media in the decision making process of travelers, including the luxury travel element of the market, particularly for obtaining information and comparing rates. These travelers are seeking value for money as well as a return on their personal values.
“ILTM's Global Trends report confirms there is a continued recovery in and demand for luxury travel, as shown by increasing lead times and rates,” said Debbie Joslin, exhibition director for ILTM. “The role of the luxury travel buyer and their relationship with suppliers has never been more important as the demand for high-level personalization continues to grow amongst luxury travelers.” For more information on ILTM Asia, visit www.iltm.net/asia.