Ancestral travel, destination weddings and booking further in advance top the list of trends industry experts see for the coming year
This year’s Luxury Travel Expo featured a panel discussion of four upscale tour companies who made the following predictions:
Swain Tours, Abercrombie & Kent, Classic Vacations, and Tauck identified these three trends:
- Watch for an uptick in destination weddings. One of the panel discussion participants noted that on a recent visit to an upscale Mexican resort there were four weddings a day.
- Savvy luxury travelers follow a crisis. After the protests in Egypt, Abercrombie & Kent lowered their prices by 50% and suddenly luxury travelers weren’t afraid to visit.
- Look for more all-inclusive pricing because luxury travelers are getting tired of having additional travel fees piled on to their bills.
The Travel Experts, a cooperative of 200 travel agencies specializing in luxury travel recently surveyed their member agencies, who identified these trends:
- First off, the luxury travel market is back. Luxury travelers have money again, and are spending it.
- There is more high-end travel being booked through agents, but less mid and low-end travel.
- Luxury travelers are once again planning their travel well in advance of their trips.
- Due in part to a decrease in discretionary spending by Gen X and Y, multi-generational travel is back with grandparents taking their kids and grandkids on trips.
- Italy is the hottest destination for luxury travelers, with the rest of Europe, South America, Alaska, Hawaii, South Africa, Australia, Cambodia and Vietnam rounding out the top destinations.
Luxury Travel magazine recently asked Thomas Cook, head of Cox & Kings The Americas, to name his top trends for the segment. His picks:
- Travel that helps benefit the conservation of wildlife and preservation of historic sites around the world.
- Traveling to one’s ancestral roots.
- Off-season travel, which allows travelers to experience a destination with fewer crowds and better deals.
- Traveling with an expert: small group travel with best-in-industry experts.
- Stanley picked these as “hot” cities for 2012: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Salta, Argentina, Beirut, Luang Prabang, Stockholm, Tallinn and Mostar.
What kinds of trends are you seeing from the luxury travel segment? Tell us about your experience.
Special thanks to Tim Scott for reporting on the Luxury Travel Expo at the Luxury Latin America website.