Space travel, unique “pop-up” accommodation and sabbaticals built around sustainability are three of the trends set to drive luxury travel over the next five years.
These were some of the findings in the Future of Luxury Travel Forecast: 2020-2025 report, put together by trend forecasting agency Globetrender, in association with tour operator Cookson Adventures, which pinpoints 25 major luxury travel trends.
The report says the new decade will see a “huge shift away from materialism to experientialism as drivers of status, which only heightens the value of travel”, with luxury travellers becoming “more intrepid” and even being willing to “seek discomfort” during their trips.
Space tourism for private citizens is one of the macro trends identified in the report, with Virgin Galactic due to launch its first flights to the edge of space for paying customers later this year.
Other planned space journeys for consumers include Zero 2 Infinity, a four-and-a-half hour journey taking passengers 22 miles above Earth in a helium balloon, which is due to launch by the end of 2021.
Career breaks “with purpose”, or “radical sabbaticals” is another trend set to shape the luxury travel sector over the next few years.
Original Travel creates extended itineraries for sabbaticals focusing on specific goals set by the client, while Aardvark Safaris’ Sensational Sabbaticals are based around environmentalism and sustainability and can involve working at a rhino sanctuary and learning about anti-poaching strategies in Africa.
Temporary or “ephemeral” hotels are also viewed as being a more popular option for luxury clients with limited-edition “never-to-be-repeated” hotel, resort or glamping stays adding an extra sense of exclusivity.
An example is 700’000 Heures, a so-called “wandering” or itinerant hotel which pops up every six months in a new location – such as taking over an historic temple in Koyasan, Japan, during 2020.