In preparation for next year’s business arena, many industry professionals have begun forecasting trends with regard to the luxury travel market. A recent survey of seasoned travelers, as well as discerning travel professionals listed that we can expect everything from niche luxury cruises to customized adventure travel to exotic, albeit remote destinations. Having studied these luxury travel trend predictions, relevant survey results and many travel professionals’ insights, this is the current outlook for 2010.
Mirroring the current economic atmosphere and more specifically the existing credit crunch, consumers are on the lookout for a bargain. It stands to reason then, that value for money will be at the top of the list for potential travelers, with concept and branding taking a backseat in the coming years. Both luxury hotel and tour operators have the ability to thrive if they can demonstrate the worth of paying a little extra in order to gain an outstanding experience.
Now more than ever perspective travelers are looking for an unsurpassed price/quality ratio when selecting their luxury vacation. Reflecting the highly competitive travel market, consumers will seek out top of the line locations, amenities and services at a price they feel offers them the best value for their dollar. Successful travel advisors will be proficient in providing the optimal available products for their clients at the right price.
Travel industry professionals have recently become aware of a growing market trend, in that luxury travelers are actively seeking out a customized, uniquely exotic travel experience. Simply put, travelers are looking for exciting new destinations, the ultimate in adventure and thrilling, new experiences. Luxury adventure travel is on the rise and consumers can enjoy a vast selection of luxury options. Some of these options include, but are not limited to luxury safaris, heli-ski trips, niche boat cruises, and even high-speed car tours in top vacation destinations like Cape Town, Provence, Tuscany and New York. Those looking for a slightly slower pace with a little relaxation thrown in may opt for personalized art tours and tailor-made culinary courses.
Green travel is not a newcomer to the luxury travel market, but with environmental issues at the forefront of many people’s minds, eco- travel is enjoying not only resurgence, but a definite growth spurt as well. It is predicted that 2010 will see the development of eco-friendly destinations; a direct result of a continued growth pattern of intimate, sustainable villa resorts. More than likely the upcoming year will bring a further increase in the number of operators offering greener travel options.
Certainly these trends will not necessarily occur verbatim or even overnight. Since change takes time, the process will be gradual, but the luxury travel industry is evolving and as a result, I do believe we will see some exciting options in the not so distant future.