By F. Martin
The concept of luxury tourism is changing, with travelers shifting from opulence to exclusive cultural experiences according to a GlobalData report.
“Luxury trips are no longer the preserve of upper middle class, high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), and ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UNHWI) as the choice and affordability of these holidays improves”, estimates the market analysis.
Worldwide the global number of guests staying in luxury hotels increased from more than 186 million in 2009 to 306 million in 2017 and is expected to reach almost 395 million in 2021.
But the report title “Tapping into the Luxury Travel Market” reveals that upscale tourism is gradually changing, with travellers shifting from opulence to exclusive experiences.
Whereas luxury travel was once associated with first-class transportation, five star accommodation, and Michelin starred restaurants, changing consumer perceptions and priorities are redefining the concept of luxury in travel.
A high appreciation of different cultures and a prioritization of experiences over ownership of goods have resulted in travellers seeking deeper travel experiences GlobalData added.
GlobalData Plc, is a digital media company that was established in 1999 and has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2000. Its corporate headquarters are in London, and it also has offices across the UK, US, Argentina, South Korea, Mexico, China, Japan, India and Australia.
According to the study the so called millennials are not among the wealthiest generations and hence in its traditional form would not be considered a target demographic for luxury tourism.
Millennials may not be willing to spend much on upscale accommodation, they may be willing to trade up on exclusive activities characterized by a more experiential element.
The digital media company said that have identified four key types of luxury travellers; ‘bleisure’, ‘time is money’, ‘special occasion’ and ‘ultra luxury’.
However, the number of ‘ultra luxury’ female and millennial travellers continues to grow, representing a good opportunity for market growth according to GlobalData.
Emerging nations in Asia dominate the top 10 countries share of female, due to their rapid rise in the region over the past decade. This cohort is particularly interested in traveling, presenting an excellent opportunity for travel operators especially in health and wellness tourism.