Year after year, the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) continues to celebrate and showcase the very best of luxury travel through its prestigious events. Alison Gilmore, director of ILTM, shares a few of this year’s hottest trends, along with some handy globetrotting tips.
WHAT MAKES A LUXURY TRAVELER
“The traditional perceptions of luxury travel are challenged by the evolving needs of modern consumers. By embracing these key definitions, forward-thinking companies can remain competitive in their niche and embrace this transformation:
Cultured: Luxury travelers want their dreams to become reality. They’re actively searching for that wow factor—an opportunity to learn and immerse themselves in something new.
Culinary-savvy: While every traveler loves and appreciates good food, what sets luxury travelers apart is their hunger for the next boundary-pushing culinary discovery. Whether it’s through joining a local cooking workshop, dining at an award-winning restaurant, or even using a particular experience as an overarching theme of a trip (take wine region tourism as an example), luxury travelers make cuisine a top priority.
Discerning: Customization is key when it comes to attracting luxury travelers, as bespoke services and greater choices allow them to orchestrate their own unique, one-off experiences. The more options they are given, the happier they usually are.”
WHERE TO GO IN 2017
“With its wealth of new, colorful resorts, Mexico is steadily emerging as a luxurious locale. Morocco—which has been at the forefront of luxury travel for a while now—will also see a wave of lavish new properties and developments this year. And it’s never been easier to get to Oman, a seemingly otherworldly place that teems with rugged landscapes, sandy beaches, and diver-drawing seas.”
THINGS TO TRY THIS YEAR
“Anything that’s quintessentially Japanese is worth trying. The new luxury trains that were announced by Japan Rail at ILTM in Cannes sound fantastic, as do the exclusive-access experiences provided by companies such as Luxurique Inc.
Since there’s no shortage of memorable wellness experiences today, why not indulge in a pampering session? From Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Germany to Aman Tokyo, hotels and resorts around the globe now offer a range of opportunities to relax and unwind, attracting a steady stream of spa-goers and health enthusiasts.
Finally, one should always strive to experience the many different facets of their destination. A journey through Eastern Europe is a great example: from the rough-around-the-edges delights of less-developed countries such as Montenegro, Slovenia, and Georgia, to the robust art and cultural identities of Dubrovnik, Berlin, and Budapest, there are plenty of less-traveled roads awaiting exploration in 2017.”
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF AIRLINE MILES
“Save them to share with friends and family whenever you can. And keep in mind that certain destinations offer better value, so do plan ahead and research well in advance.”
WHAT TO BRING
“I personally can’t do without my Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag, a camera, a trusty pair of tweezers, and great phone reception.”