Luxury consumers are moving towards a desire for experiential travel rather than “materialistic” holiday needs of the past, according to an industry commentator.
Futurist James Wallman told delegates at the ttgluxury Seminar in London he believed the industry would see a shift in the types of activities travellers would want to do while on holiday and in turn, the type of service they would come to expect from their travel provider.
Wallman, who is the best-selling author of 2015 book Stuffocation, said luxury operators and hotel properties should see the change in attitudes as an "extremely positive" one.
“You guys in the travel industry are on the right side of history,” Wallman said. “You can help people to really get the best out of their holiday and themselves.”
Wallman cited the culture shift occuring due to the sharp rise in social media use in the 21st century coupled with modern consumers’ strive for “status” among their peers online.
“Back in the 1980s if you had been skiing the only people to know about it were your neighbours but now social media has flipped that on its head because your peers can follow you all the time, these days it’s not about what you’ve got, it’s about what you’ve done instead.”
Wallman’s views on the type of travel product consumers were moving towards were echoed by Giovanni Donaldson, the co-founder of experiential travel company SideStory, which connects experts in fields such as photography and art, known as “insiders” with travellers looking to learn new skills.
“Travellers now want to see cities in different way than they have before and giving them access to experts enhances their experience,” Donaldson said. “It’s up to us to be able to offer them something they’ve never had the chance to do before.”