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Home Destinations Luxury travel trends for 2024

Luxury travel trends for 2024

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd

Luxury travel trends for 2024

By Jim Eastwood, Global Sales Director at Travel Counsellors

Jim Eastwood

In many ways, it’s the luxury travel industry that stands out as the driver of the post-pandemic travel boom. According to Deloitte, the global market value of the industry soared by US$1 trillion in 2021 with a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.6% until 2030.

Luxury travel is not confined to high net-worth individuals, but it demands a level of concierge service and support that is truly best-in-class. Whether it’s a bucket list one-off trip to experience a water villas in a Maldives resort, or high-end exploration with ultra luxury land and cruise elements with no expense spared, hand-held travel curation is vital.  It’s important to find experienced agents who you can trust, and who understand intimately bespoke requirements. To experience the perfect places, trusted travel partners are essential – and even more so when we are arranging all those non-travel aspects, such as tickets, attractions & authentic experiences.

We’re fast seeing a shift in consumer holiday behaviours as the rise in luxury travel is driven by new spending priorities, enthusiasm to explore distant destinations, and the pursuit of elevated experiences. Research from Bain & Company shows the experiential luxury sector has grown 5-6% annually over the past five years, and according to The Future Laboratory, the ‘human qualities of travel’ are more important than ever for aspirational consumers.

In 2023, Travel Counsellors saw luxury bookings grow by 30%, underlining the resilience of the luxury travel sector despite the economic challenges. Our focus on creating unparalleled travel experiences and the security of booking with a personal, trusted travel advisor, all powered by our technology platform has been critical to this growth.

It’s not just the package, it’s the full package that counts

At Travel Counsellors, we’ve seen a strong demand for curated holiday experiences, that have become a key part of the discerning traveller’s itinerary. It’s not just the destination, it’s the orchestration of an extraordinary, bespoke and meaningful experience. Our 2,000-plus strong team of skilled travel advisors have fulfilled requests for everything from a mermaid to deliver floating breakfast to guests in a hotel pool, to dressing up as Super Mario for a go-karting tour of Tokyo, to seeing the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, on Komodo island, Indonesia – and everything else in-between.

Luxury travellers are placing higher value on hyper-personal holidays that match their personal interests, and bucket list items – whatever they might be. Space travel might seem beyond the realms of possibility, but one of our Travel Counsellors recently booked the travel for a long-standing customer who was travelling to join the crew onboard Virgin Galactic’s recent first space tourism flight – taking holiday experiences to a level that is truly out of this world!

Connecting with local communities and learning about local cultures and customs are all key for luxury travellers. In fact, we found that at least a third (34%) of Brits view soaking up the local culture as essential to the holiday experience. There is an increasing desire for holiday experiences which facilitate deeper human connections, and where trips involve and benefit local communities as much as holidaymakers.

Rejuvenation for body and mind

With our own data showing that escaping everyday life was a key motivation for many (29%), the trend for wellness-focused getaways is set to continue in 2024. In addition to traditional spa holidays in exotic locations, travellers are escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life by getting back to nature. Serene meditation retreats and extraordinary wellness experiences such as forest bathing, wild swimming and sound healing sessions – in beautiful, natural surroundings – are the ultimate luxury for many affluent travellers.

Luxury hotspots off the beaten track

Luxury travellers are looking forward to multi-destination, complex trips to places that haven’t been discovered before in 2024, as they seek out once-in-a lifetime luxury adventures spanning multiple hotspots. Our Travel Tracker showed that Brits are planning to take at least two holidays abroad next year, and the lure of an exotic destination also never grows old – with holidays to Barbados, Mauritius, the Maldives, Thailand and Vietnam remaining popular luxurious getaways.

Sustainable luxury

Environmental concerns are fast becoming a key focus for the travel industry and luxury travellers alike. Sustainability is becoming not just a nice-to-have, but a must-have part of the luxury experience. At Travel Counsellors, we are striving to deliver sustainable travel options that also meet guests’ expectations of luxury travel. Our research shows nearly half of Brits are considering more sustainable holidays as a result of climate change, while 14% are willing to pay more for a sustainable holiday.

Looking ahead to 2024, these luxury travel trends will no doubt continue to grow in popularity. It’s an exciting opportunity for our travel entrepreneurs, who are empowered using our digitally enabled platform enhanced with the human touch through the support of our global community. They are well poised to be able to deliver an exceptional, personalised level of customer service and find innovative ways to help luxury customers live their travel dreams and create lasting memories.