What's Your Luxury Travel Tribe?
PHOTO: New segments of the luxury travel market are emerging. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
The growth in luxury travel is currently outpacing the growth in other travel markets and there are a host of fresh challenges and opportunities that this market will face over the next decade. A new report by Amadeus, “Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel,” highlighted several key findings in the luxury travel market and broke down luxury travelers into six key “tribes.”
The report found that the industry has entered an age where luxury travel is curated, real-time and experience led.
It also noted that North America and Western Europe account for 64 percent of the world’s outbound luxury trips, even though it only makes up 18 percent of the world’s population
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The report also found that Asia Pacific’s luxury travel market will begin to decelerate.
It also noted that the human desire for more rewarding experiences provides an essential catalyst to evolve and improve travel industry quality and service standards.
The research also discovered that there is a hierarchy of luxury travel needs, ranging from five-star quality and service to VIP privacy and security.
“Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel” was developed by Amadeus with data from Tourism Economics. It also took into account dozens of expert interviews with global luxury travel experts across specialist travel concierge agencies, airlines, hoteliers and intermediary suppliers through Connections, a global networking event organizer for luxury travel providers.
In addition to a portrait of the luxury travel industry, the study revealed six traveler tribes that are specific to the luxury segment.
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"Luxury means different things to different people and this is especially true today. As emergent middle classes seek the material aspect of luxury travel, more mature markets are craving a new, evolved kind of luxury. This is why offering luxury customers a relevant personal and exclusive experience will become even more crucial than it is today — it will be a differentiating factor between old and new luxury," said Rob Sinclair-Barnes, strategic marketing director at Amadeus IT Group.
According to Amadeus, these luxury travel tribes break down into the following groups:
Always Luxury: luxury is a minimum requirement rather than a perk
Special Occasion: luxury travel is a treat, not a given
Bluxury: their trip has a business objective, but they will extend it to enjoy a luxury leisure experience
Cash-Rich, Time-Poor: likely to seek and pay for third-party travel planning assistance
Strictly Opulent: seek the most glamorous experiences and will likely share on social media
Independent Affluent: often solo travelers seeking luxury travel to pamper themselves or try something new
These groups are key for travel agents to identify when working in the luxury arena going forward.
"For travel companies, understanding their role in delivering an end-to-end luxury experience for a traveler is key to improving collaboration, and reinforcing an industry-wide push for consistent luxury service. Exploring the latest technologies and innovations for making the industry work better as a whole is key to achieving a new level of luxury that has never existed before," said Sinclair-Barnes.
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