Does luxury mean novelty or isolation?

What makes a holiday stand out from any other? It’s probably a question of timing, circumstance,travel companions and above all, taste. That’s never truer than in the luxury end of the market, but what luxury travellers increasingly seem to want is not just opulent suites, glamorous destinations and extravagant restaurants serving first-class food, but holidays that make the heart leap. Even the cruise operators which have traditionally catered for the 50–65+ age range report their clientele are also seeking something with a bit more adventure.

Seasoned travellers demand real luxury with excellent food, superb service and accommodation andthe freedom to do as they please. They also expect their holiday to be as carefully crafted as anybespoke suit to fit their individual needs. Above all, they want to be transported to other worlds, indulge in activities that will lift the spirits and interact with local people who make them feel welcome. You would also imagine that they would want to put their work and business cares aside or at least on hold for a couple of weeks. You’d be wrong!

Trip Advisor’s latest annual travel trends survey of more than 3,000 American travellers showed that 59% of them remained connected to their place of work using the latest computer and communication technology. 62% admitted to checking their work e-mail while on holiday,while 13% actually called the office! 90% connected with home on their leisure travels, but the preference here seemed to be for the new technology as well. By far the majority of the respondents (74%) said they emailed home, sent text messages or used social networking sites likeFacebook. A mere 26% sent postcards while only 8% said that they deliberately selected a luxurious but remote destination specifically to avoid connecting with work.

The one thing all US travellers seemed to share was an increasing eagerness to pack their bags in the coming year and travel more. That is reflected in data from the Virtuoso’s Luxe Report which forecasts trends for upscale 2011 US travel. The report suggests that American travellers at least are once again looking at multi-destination exploration type holidays with long haul back on top. International trips of eight days or longer increasingly seems to be the norm and for US tourists, Italy, France and South Africa are the three most popular international destinations this coming year. Vietnam has also supplanted India as the most popular “emerging destination”. The survey also suggested that family and multi-generational travel is one of the biggest emerging luxury traveltrends for 2011 together with greater interest in luxury cruises and an increase in people seekingguided or private touring holidays in order to get a truly authentic experience in a new and as yet unspoilt destination.

Peter Richards is a Digital Marketing Manager at Tropical Sky.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Luxury can mean so many different things to different people. For a business traveler luxury can mean seamless free wireless internet! For a couple getting married luxury might mean isolation.

    Four Seasons Chicago just announced a butler that tells bedtime stories. That’s true luxury for parents!

  2. Allan Bisset says:

    the definition of luxury does indeed depend on time of life and family status. That story telling butler would have been a god send when my kids were younger, but once they’ve flown the nest, I certainly welcome the opportunity to be “child free” and that’s what luxury implies to me How the suggested family luxury packages would work is intruguing.

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