2017 Travel Trends in Depth – Luxe Reduxe

“Traveling is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

No matter how counterintuitive it may seem, luxury travel is growing faster than any other sector, according to World Travel Monitor. In fact, a study by Tourism Economics found that luxury travel trips projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% between 2015 and 2025, almost a third faster than overall travel at 4.8%. As the cultural values shift from a desire for things to a need to see places, retail isn’t keeping up with the luxury travel market. Not to mention, the emerging middle classes want travel more than stuff too.

What are some of the key drivers in luxury travel this year? The market’s prominence of travel advisors, its emphasis on spa experiences and wellness over luxury retail items, and the grand entrance into emerging destinations certainly play a part.

Let’s start with travel advisors. We’ve all seen those quizzes and online content pieces that surmise where a traveler might like to go based on personality type, etc. But did you know that there are people out there (not to be confused with travel agents!) who provide this intuitive service in person? They are travel advisors, and much like therapists or mentors, they have conversations with travelers to identify what they’re looking for, their main priorities or concerns, and what locations would best serve their needs. They take their findings to a good travel agency to start the planning and booking process.

When wellness became a travel trend, you’d better believe it made materialism seem empty and obsolete, as more travelers poured their travel spend into something more meaningful – wellness tourism. As we mentioned in another blog, nearly 16% of travel spending goes to wellness-centered travel, including spa resorts, wellness festivals, and healthy cruising.

‘Bespoke’ became such a buzzword over the last few years that most of us grew tired of hearing it in every day. (I actually cringe to type it.) But today’s traveler seeks customized at all costs, especially when the travelers expect to splurge. Made-to-order travel appeared in many forms – from quick boxed lunches served at hotel rooms to handpicked deliveries that bring out the wanderlust in all of us.

Lastly, travelers today strive to take their luxury to endangered or emerging territories – tourist attractions that are either rising or crumbling at breakneck speed. Today’s luxury traveler is no longer content to lounge around on a boat when they could explore something a little off the beaten path. Although North America and Western Europe account for 64% of global outbound luxury trips, according to a report by Amadeus, travel to Cuba has spurred other adventurous excursions.

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