Virtuoso has released its 2019 Luxe Report examining the top trends in luxury travel based on their survey of the company’s 17,500 travel advisers.
Five travel trends emerge which are all anchored in an increase in personalized travel, driven by the rise of social media and it’s tie to “trophy travel” as well as increasingly time-starved luxury travelers who seek increased convenience.
TREND #1: Do It Now
No longer are travelers waiting until “retirement” to live the experiences parked on their “bucket lists”. They want to participate in worldwide sports events from the Olympics and the Super Bowl to Wimbledon – NOW. Closely tied to the increased interest in “insider” experiences, luxury travelers want to deepen their exposure to what they are most passionate about. Think private art tours in locales like the Vatican after hours, exclusive dinners with celebrity chefs and high-profile movers and shakers and music lovers booking trips to summer festivals and concerts.
TREND #2: Get Me There Faster and Easier
Luxury travelers are now used to transportation-on-demand solutions such as Uber and Lyft. From All Clear to Global Entry, they expect faster and easier connections when on the road. No longer is it ok to stand in line, wait your turn and accept inevitable delays when traveling. Luxury travelers want VIP airport arrival services that whisk them through customs and ease tight connections or even private helicopter transfers to and from airports.
TREND #3: Help Me Create A Unique Story
Travelers today also want uniqueness. A way to create a story about an experience which no one else can claim to have had. Since there are few destinations which remain undiscovered these days, now it is down to how you travel within a destination that others have also been to. What you do there. Where you stay. Experienced travelers who feel they have seen it all now seek unconventional hospitality options. From tent “glamping” to tree house stays, monasteries to igloos, the demand for non-traditional luxury accommodations is increasing.
TREND #4: Give Me A Visual Leg Up
Travelers want their cameras to make it easier to capture iconic imagery and backdrops for their selfies so that they can share imagery from their travels with their personal and social networks. From on-site photography sessions to create Instagram-worthy content to destination-themed photo shoots, luxury travelers want to be seen having fun in fabulous destinations whether they are wearing traditional geisha attire in Kyoto or ball gowns in Venice.
TREND #5: Take Me To Where the Wild Things Are
Travelers are loving wildlife-centered experiences. From the educational to the philanthropic, they want to reconnect with nature and do something to help the planet. Examples of this surface in requests to visit animal sanctuaries and wildlife conservation programs, opportunities to observe and learn about animals living in their natural habitats and active adventures where they can interact more directly with animals such as dog sledding, whale watching, and bear viewing.
This year’s Virtuoso Luxe report also highlights examples of “in demand” luxury experiences for 2019. From cruises to railroad rides, glamping to sailing, AdventureWomen appears to be – “trend right”!