Luxury Gold has witnessed a 150% jump in bookings to date since the beginning of 2022, the touring brand of The Travel Corporation has revealed. One in six Australians are planning to spend $10,000 on a holiday/travel this year, it said. The intel was shared as Luxury Gold released findings from a new inaugural report created in collaboration with TBWA\, entitled The New Golden Age of Travel.
The study assisted Luxury Gold to identify its top six future travel trends in the luxury travel space influencing the way Australians holiday. They were: Touring on Top, Regeneration Rising, Leave-To-Learn, Tangible Nostalgia, The New Roaring Twenties, and Specialist Stays.
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Toni Ambler, MD of Luxury Gold, Australia/New Zealand said: “A holiday is more than ‘just a holiday’ for modern luxury consumers, especially post-pandemic. Instead, it’s an opportunity to grow, learn and soak in experiences that will change us for the better.
“It’s travel that’s more purposeful and curated, as opposed to ‘in-and-out’ or flash-in-the-pan holidays.”
“Our customer base has always expected to have one-of-a-kind experiences on their trip. The New Golden Age of Travel report underscores this notion, but also shows that we’re seeing a return to this nostalgic essence of what travel used to be in the golden age, where consumers crave curated experiences, souvenirs that matter and activities that expand our minds.”
Touring on Top
Gone are the days of DIY travel. Consumers are willing to pay individuals for their time and expertise. For example, they are interested in having a customer itinerary created, and designed for their personal lives and interests.
“Post-pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of change in the way Australians travel and why they are travelling,” said Anna Burgdorf, Global Brand and Marketing Director, Luxury Travel Associates. “The rise of the travel advisor is key to this, as clients want end-to-end experiences and touring is the perfect example. Instead of booking flights, accommodation and activities on their own, more and more Australians want this process to be seamlessly managed and that means finding a trusted advisor that can undertake this process of collaboration with them.”
Burgdorf said booking a tour “takes the guesswork and stress out of the booking process” following the pandemic.
According to Luxury Gold, Australian travellers will be focusing more on how travel can be regenerative, not just eco-friendly, as holidaymakers decolonise travel and make travel restorative. In 2019, Luxury Gold launched Make Travel Matter experiences, including Ultimate Ireland, Ultimate Italy, and Majesty of the Rockies. Each experience is evaluated against a robust set of criteria directly tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to ensure it brings a positive social or environmental impact.
The pandemic reset becomes post-pandemic reset, as travellers seek to find masterclass experiences on holiday too, like cooking classes, weaving workshops, even archaeological digs. Ambler said: “Luxury Gold has a number of trips that allow travellers to visit locals, including Treasures of the Incas. On this 10-day trip, guests can visit the home of local artist Victor Delfin, known for his monumental El Beso sculpture, at his workshop in the city’s trendy Barranco district of Lima.”
Luxury consumers’ desire for tangible experiences in an intangible world continues apace, with physical mementoes of travel not only a status symbol but also an emotive driver.
“We used to boast about the places we’ve been to and the number of different country stamps in our passports,” Ambler said.
“Now, less is more – it’s more about the quality and unique experiences we’ve had over volume.”
The New Roaring Twenties
As we hit our stride in the ‘Age of Rebellion’, our pleasure-seeking and hedonistic desires go into overdrive, as we want to kick back and enjoy the good life while we still can. After the emotional and physical shutdown of the pandemic, we’re reinventing historical vices for the modern-day – with caviar being used to revisit the temptations of old – where caviar ‘bumps’ define contemporary hedonism. This is taken to extremes at Temple Bar, where customers are told to lick caviar from their hands, rather than use implements. Another hotel boasting opulence fit for a queen includes Ashford Castle, Ireland’s only Forbes five-star hotel, where global celebrities swan around the remarkable 800-year-old beautifully restored hotel.
As opposed to the ‘kitchen sink’ style of itinerary, the study found travellers are looking for specialist stays – focusing on a need state or a desire that allows them to immerse themselves in a fulfilling trip. Luxury Gold offers a stable of one-of-a-kind stays, with discovery around every corner and wonder outside every window, including and Lion Sands Game Reserve Kruger Park, South Africa, where travellers can dine under the stars while expert chefs prepare modern dishes based on traditional recipes.
Ambler concluded: “Consumers are seeking a return to human connection rather than booking their experiences themselves. That’s why Luxury Gold now offers luxury concierge services where guests will enjoy a bespoke experience within an intimate setting, meaning a personal one-to-one experience.”
View Luxury Gold’s 16-page report here.