Life-stage travel, active wellness and eco-adventures are all trends to watch for high-end travel next year.
Mandy Saven, head of food, beverage and hospitality at futurism consultancy Stylus, said travel brands must offer even more “rarified” experiences in response to luxury travel becoming ever more mainstream.
She cited a four-night “luxpedition” by Brown & Hudson to harvest cacao in the depths of the Ecuadorean jungle with the world’s most expensive chocolate producer as an example of food and drink becoming an increasingly valuable commodity, and highlighted that cannabis has shaken off its stoner-culture and is now enjoyed in upper society, with Butiq Escapes offering a cannabis tour of British Columbia by helicopter.
“Brands reaching individuals at important or sensitive times in their life is another major prediction for next year,” she revealed, pointing to the Modern Elder Academy which runs retreats in Mexico for older millennials as they approach and navigate through mid-life.
Saven reported that while wellness continues to be a significant theme for affluent travellers, the market has become more nuanced, with “active wellness” as a wholesome all-encompassing experience superseding “passive wellness”.
“People are paying £4,500 to go to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop health summit where they’ll have B12 shots and cupping and do transformational workshops,” she said.
Equinox Hotels in New York, meanwhile, enables guests to continue their own fitness and nutritional regimes from home so they can meet their goals.
Luxury travel brands should also prepare for clients’ children to put increasing pressure on their parents to travel responsibly.
“Children are not prepared to stay silent about climate change and are taking their parents to task about their travel choices,” she reported, advising brands to position themselves to appeal to these “rising activists”.