Entry Title

2021 Travel Trends - Luxury Travel Heading Into 2021

Trends in Luxury Travel
Luxury Travel Becomes More Personal
Guests want to define their experiences and have choices, both on and off property. Affluent customers are still traveling and have the means to do so in a way that makes them feel safe. Personalized, intimate, unique opportunities and experiences for guests is the luxury story right now. 

Redirection of Spend to Accomodations
- Still Traveling - Not so much avoidance of travel but redirection of spend to accommodations
Room Types - Increased bookings of the highest room categories
- Group Travel - Engage in pod travel with friends and families in groups
- Travel Bubble - Taking over an entire floor or wing of a hotel to create a private bubble
- Dining - Increase in in-room dining as well as requests for private meals and special dining offers
- Wellness - Guests are looking for  personalized offerings and outdoor options for spa and fitness
- Technology - Increasing use of technology, both contactless and mobile  

Emphasis on Communication
- Clear and transparent communication - e.g. pre-trip and on-property communication is increasing
- Guests want to know before booking what their experience on property will look like
- Interactions with front desk associates growing as guests want more details related to their stay
- Non-verbal communication is also important - e.g. body language exercises, effectively communicate a warm welcome when a smile is covered by a mask
- More visual cues - e.g. signage, sanitation stations, evidence that protocols are being enforced

Rethinking Design
- Repurpose spaces that once focused on group activities or gathering
- Hotels that don’t have outdoor space are looking to transform public spaces for private experiences - e.g. convert closeds restaurant into workout studios, conduct gym classes on terraces, turn guest rooms and into private workout pods where guests can exercise without the fear of neighbors

Growth in Leisure Travel
- Potential for a surge in leisure travel (similar to summer 2020)
- People are comfortable booking more last-minute travel
- People are also planning for and expecting a time when future travel has normalized
- Affluent guests are less comfortable with conspicuous luxury - shifting to a buy few & finer mindset

Reframe Hotels as the Destination
- Hotel used to serve as the gateway for exploring and discovering a new locale
- immersive experiences must now happen more often on property 
- Luxury brands are developing programming to embrace the destination - e.g. home-cooking experiences, master classes in culture and cuisine, transformed public spaces
- Brand signature programming is being emphasized - across adults and children - to give a greater sense of place
- Hotels are becoming community hubs - championing local arts, supporting regional restaurants and chefs and increasing charitable efforts as a part of the hotel experience

The Takeaway
Luxury hotels are seeing increases in repeat guests since the pandemic as guests feel safer returning to a trusted brand and a familiar experience.

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