High-End Specialty Travel on the Rise
Luxury travelers are booking with a specific interest in culture and the arts.
Affluent travelers increasingly seek vacations based on a single subject, such as art, design or architecture, or even a single attraction, such as the new Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The latest information from travel market research company Phocuswright’s ongoing project Global Activities 2014–2020: Tours & Attractions Come of Age found that the activities segment (including events, attractions and tours) is the third largest in the travel industry, at $129 billion in revenue, and is growing faster than the total travel market. It’s expected to reach $175 billion globally by 2020. This trend is due in part to growing interest in authentic experiences and activities. “Travelers are looking for experiences that they can have only in a particular place, and nothing is more culturally authentic than food and geography/ecology, both of which help to define a destination and its people,” says Jennifer Waigand, travel adviser at World Travel Service, a Virtuoso agency.
Affluent travelers share an interest in authentic experiences and are able to explore further. “Culturally authentic attractions draw in many types of travelers. However, luxury travelers have the budget to invest in unique itineraries to experience these attractions,” Waigand says. While many travelers visit Rome to see the Vatican, for example, luxury travelers can afford to book a behind-the-scenes tour with a private guide.
Waigand recommends that resorts looking to attract high-end travelers create a deeper, full-service experience by partnering with an adviser who specializes in luxury travel. “A travel adviser has the expertise to craft an itinerary customized for the guests’ preferences and the connections to ensure VIP service as well as great value,” Waigand says.
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