Luxury… a way of travel, not just a destination

Shreya Goswami

2014 saw luxury travel to be one of the most alluring target markets. The perception of what is basic and what is opulent is distinctly different despite the apparent similarity of the nature of basic human needs and that the idea of luxury travel is definitely transferrable from person to person. The concept of luxury travel probably was conceived with the refinement of the basic human needs and also with the change in the subjective concept of 'travel'.

Price and status are two indispensible factors of the luxury market. Also, speaking in terms of dimensions, functionalism; experimental symbolism; and symbolic interaction are also the major pillars. While functionalism represents the idea that luxury and pricy goods address the necessities of customers, the experiential symbolism is related with the concept of sensorial pleasure. And finally, the symbolic interaction is referred to the real satisfaction of the customers' needs.

How do you define luxury travel?

For me, part of the luxury travel experience, requires the need to meet and exceed the standards and expectations of the travellers. Delivering impeccable customer service is a way to score highly on review websites, but still not sufficient enough to succeed in terms of luxury travel segment. Regardless of the destination, is it possible for sincere, anticipatory services to elevate a simple travel trip to become a luxury travel? Or is it about delving into the ethnicity of the local culture, experiencing authentic tastes and collecting souvenirs? For me, a maverick traveller is a luxury traveller. Tailored-travel with personalised and unprecedented experiences would re-define luxury travel. What is luxurious to you might be average to the next traveller. No matter where you go, where you stop off, the little stories associated with the destinations are unique for every traveller.

Luxury travel trends

  • As travel industry experts say, travelers from Europe, the USA and Japan, are predicted to dominate the luxury travel space looking ahead to 2020, despite the growth in wealth in China and other Asian countries.
  • A significant part of luxury travel is being conspicuous of leisure. While some travellers enjoy sharing pictures and experiences on social media and consuming material goods, others like to luxuriate in and around their destination.
  • About 72% of business travellers extend their executive trips that have a leisure component.
  • Social media will impact the travel decisions of future and luxury travel will value the need for personalisation.

With clear preference and focus travel in search of authentic and experiential trips, I believe luxury travel is key to generating more revenues for travel industry.

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