The global recession left the world reeling, with many countries still trying to find their bearings. However, the international luxury travel market was largely unaffected. As 2012 edges closer, there is optimism with respect to this luxury travel industry, especially with respect to villa holidays. The pricey luxury hotel is being abandoned in favor of holiday homes. While most families rent out holiday homes, the investment-minded are purchasing high-end villas to rent out to luxury travelers. A recent study conducted by the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) sheds further light on the growth possibilities of the industry in 2012.
According to the ILTM Global Trends Report, luxury travelers will be looking for unique experiences. Remote locations, open-range wildlife tours, eco-friendly travel and experiencing new cultures are likely to feature on the must-do travel lists of 2012. Privacy will remain a priority for the discerning traveler throughout the year. Emerging destinations and value-for-money vacation deals will share luxury travel space with customized travel itineraries.
These travel trends should prove beneficial to the villa vacation sector. After all, villas are perfect for bespoke holidays. They can be located pretty much anywhere in the world. If you are looking at value for money, a villa rental often works out to much less than staying at a luxury hotel or resort. Weekly rental rates are usually more affordable than per night deals. Additionally, if you so choose, you can finally be free of the prying eyes and be able to holiday minus the tourist crowd. And of course, personal concierge services add a further dose of indulgence to the villa holiday.
Tom Marchant, co-founder of London-based travel agency Black Tomato, believes that the quaint fishing villages of Pipa in Brazil and of the Riviera Maya in Mexico will be among the most popular destinations in 2012. South Africa is big winner according to Alice Agar of bespoke tour operator Sally & Alice.
The ILTM report has highlighted several other popular destinations for 2012 as well. China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and other East and Southeast Asian nations are expected to be the most popular luxury travel haunts in the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore, with its mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures, is well on its way to becoming even more popular in the coming year.
There is growth in European sector too. But this time, the biggest growth will be seen in Easten Europe and the Scandinavian nations. Munich has been growing in popularity. But London is likely to see the most growth – the 2012 Summer Olympics will ensure that.
Next up is the Middle East. Places like Morocco, Oman and Jordan are likely to see higher tourist footfalls in 2012. The Middle East offers plenty of luxury hotels, services and high-end shopping opportunities.
Much growth in the luxury travel sector will come from Chinese outbound travelers. The rising number of millionaire homes in the country is expected to fuel the luxury travel sector. However, the Chinese traveler traditionally prefers all inclusive deals and package tours. Bespoke vacations have not won them over yet. So villa rental firms will have to work doubly hard to win over this section of customers. The varied price range is also a plus.