Summer is here and it is vacation time and travelers are getting ready for the memorable vacation. The luxury hotels are happy about the trend that is seeing more people traveling than before. They are planning longer vacations and often with extended families friends and children. They do want value for money but want exclusive experiences. Jennifer Fox of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts believes that the rebound in the economy has upped the Traveler Sentiment index which has resulted in guests taking longer and more frequent vacations across all channels. Other top luxury brands agree with the assessment as they are all witnessing similar growth. They are taking advantage of the growth and building on it. Top travel agents are planning exceptional experiences. LA based Elite Travel International designs high end itineraries and is handling much increased requests for exotic getaways including billionaire luxury vacations. Newer experiences are being devised in the popular destinations. People want to visit newer places or experience the popular destination differently. There is optimism in the travel industry as all the trends indicate a bright future for all stakeholders. The luxury travel trends for Summer 2012 are strong and will sustain for the coming season.
Multi-Generational Family Travel
Cruising is ideal for families vacationing together. It allows individual members their space and still keeps them connected to their family on board. Regent Seven Seas has devised cruises that provides gourmet dining, fine wines & spirits, a selection of shore excursions in all ports, onboard tips. All these are included in the price of the cruise apart from an overnight stay in a luxury hotel prior to the cruise. Families are travelling together are as large as 35 members and they love the hassle free cruises. A seven night Athens to Venice cruise is the most popular amongst the family vacationers. The hotels are also seeing an increase in family travelers with multiple room bookings. But the high end Villas are more popular with the families vacationing together. Large villas provide accommodation for greater number of people and bookings are going on across the world.
The luxury travelers today are more active and always trying to find ways to stay active and healthy even while vacationing. The travel providers are also incorporating bike rides, hiking, and water sports in their luxury packages. Trekking and diving trips to Vietnam and fly fishing and white water rafting in Park City, Utah and Colorado have become popular options for luxury travelers.
Bespoke Itineraries With a Sense of Place
The traveler today wants an authentic experience of the destination. The luxury hotels have transformed historic properties into priceless accommodation that provides authentic experience with style. Orient-Express Hotels & Resorts’ Maroma Resort & Spa in Riviera Spa has developed several wellness treatments that weaves together ancient Mayan traditions. The hotels are increasingly offering customized offerings that are tailored to personal desires.
Seeking Out What’s Next & New
People are travelling more today and a great majority of luxury traveler has visited practically all the popular destinations. They are now looking to visit places they haven’t been to before. Turkey is benefiting from this demand and people are opting for the ultra-luxe Aqua Expeditions through the Peruvian Amazon. Luxury chain of hotels are increasingly investing in properties Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Kenya and even destinations like Kiev, Baku, and Jaipur. Even in the popular destinations properties are being refurbished to provide authentic experience in a more exciting way.
Increase In Brazil & China Travelers to United States
US Travel & Tourism is benefitting greatly from the ever increasing number of visitors from Brazil and China and are known for shopping tourism. They have launched a new Brand USA campaign to consolidate their position in these countries and are taking special care of visitors from these countries. Special menus and amenities tailored to their tastes are being provided by the hotels to increase the comfort level of the foreign tourists.
US is really a large country that offers a variety of options for the vacationers. California and New England have some fantastic options for a beach vacation. New York, Chicago and San Francisco provide the metropolitan experience. American tourists are looking at domestic destinations more seriously as the air fares keep going up with the rising fuel prices. The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay and Four Seasons Santa Barbara have become very popular with American luxury travelers. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in California is also in great demand by the leisure tourists.
The money supply is somewhat stagnant and that’s why the travelers want more out of their dollar. Hotels are also creating various value added offers. Ritz Carlton, in their Florida, Caribbean and Mexico resorts offer a Comfort You program that gives guests a $100 daily resort credit to be used at places like Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Program at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. If the guests pay the full amount in advance the hotels offer very attractive discounts. With number of families vacationing together the hotels are devising special programs for children. Special menus along with full or half days activities are being devised specially for the children.
Cooking & Culinary Programs
Guests today are seeking new ideas in food and wine. There are activities planned around food and wine. Cooking classes for the local cuisine receive enthusiastic response. Villa San Michele, the Tuscan property of Orient Express runs a very popular cooking class. Their six properties in Italy run the Dining the Stars program where 10 chefs prepare a gourmet meal over a course of five weekends at each of hotels. Food and beverages are really getting the luxury treatment. People are particular about what they eat. The Mount Nelson Hotel in South Africa has introduced a Menu from the Earth in their Planet Restaurant that uses produce of their own garden which uses fertilizer from their own worm farm. All trends indicate that a healthy growth is possible for the luxury travel segment and all the travel agents and luxury hotels are working extra hard to cash in on the positive trends and are devising packages and offerings that will further consolidate the trends.