From life enriching experiences to behind the scenes access that money alone can’t buy, the nature of luxury travel is changing as conspicuous consumption gives way to more discreet travel. The Exclusive Travel Group, architects of refined experiential travel to Australasia, identifies the top trends that are changing the way the jet set travel.
Privacy and discretion trumps ostentation
Seven years ago it was seen as a sign of success to brag about the number of cars you owned, the number of seats on your private jet or the length of your private yacht. Now discretion is the name of the game. Private aviation has continued to grow steadily since 2007, but it is not spoken about anymore. Luxury travellers still want the freedom to choose where they go, with whom and when. They are much more private about it.
Experiential travel in the pursuit of life-enriching experiences
Today’s luxury traveller is looking for much more than a five-star hotel and infinity swimming pool. They plan their trips with a focus on authenticity and individualised, experiential travel, wanting to immerse themselves in the local culture. Getting up close to a Maori tribe in New Zealand or diving for crayfish to be cooked by your personal chef that evening are among some of the experiences being sought. Travelling with a conscience is also important to them, with many making significant contributions to support the local communities they visit.
What money can’t buy
In line with seeking enriching experiences, luxury travellers want exclusive experiences that money alone can’t buy. Obtaining privileged, behind-the-scenes access to activities of personal interest—from a private cooking lesson with a top chef to afternoon tea with New Zealand’s most celebrated opera singer—make the travel experience all the more special and unique.
What money can buy
Of course, when money is no object, the only limit to luxury travel is your imagination. From private jet and helicopter travel, to personal chefs or reserving private islands like Lacaula in Fiji, the possibilities are truly boundless.
It’s all about the individual
Luxury travellers are used to having what they want, when they want. But demand for bespoke itineraries, tailored to individual needs, is now higher than ever. The sky is literally the limit for those with high earnings so intuitively knowing how to meet guests’ unspoken requests makes all the difference.
Off the beaten track
The search for the rarest of travel experiences is taking luxury travellers to some of the most remote, off the beaten track locations on the planet. But they venture to these uncharted territories in style and comfort. Remote eco-lodges in Australia and New Zealand are increasingly popular among upscale global travellers. Think luxury tented lodges atop a glacier complete with private helicopter access, personal chef and hot tubs.
Where to lay one’s head
Choice is the operative word when it comes to today’s luxury accommodation. Travellers want to be given options beyond the traditional five star hotel. Smaller, boutique hotels or private architecturally-designed residences are high on their wish list. But unusual accommodation like glamping or glamour vanning also curry favour.
By virtue of their location, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji are often considered aspirational destinations for travellers from the Middle East. This has made them a popular choice for multi-generational vacations. Celebrating milestone occasions like anniversaries, reunions or grandparents’ birthdays with the whole family is made all the more special with a customised holiday that strengthens bonds and forms unforgettable memories.