In the first of our Founders Series, David Ox, Managing Director of luxury holiday company Winged Boots, discusses three trends of the travel industry you should keep in mind for success…
There’s no escaping the fact that the world is in a cost-of-living crisis, as challenging headwinds continue to affect many industries. The luxury travel sector has so far proven itself to be resilient; we’ve seen steady demand, but it’s important to be prepared for what comes next, especially after the unexpected events of the last few years.
With this in mind, it is more important than ever to understand and get ahead of the trends influencing the luxury travel market and consumers. Doing so will stand any luxury business in good stead to ride out potential challenges. Here are my predictions for three luxury travel trends businesses should be mindful of, to prepare for success over the Easter and summer months.
1) Accepting there will be unexpected changes and having the capacity to pivot quickly will be key:
There have been a number of hurdles for the travel industry, whether that be the travel chaos we saw last summer, climate disasters impacting holiday destinations or the cost-of-living crisis, just to name a few. It would be unrealistic to think it will be entirely smooth sailing – travel, and the luxury sector in particular, is an exciting industry to be in and unexpected challenges certainly keep you on your toes. But the key to being able to successfully navigate these hurdles is the ability to pivot quickly as a business. For example, the travel chaos we saw during the summer months last year led to an increased demand for long-haul travel.
At Winged Boots, we spotted this trend early and pivoted our portfolio quickly in order to meet this growing demand. As airports struggled with resources and capacity, we provided complimentary Fast Track to all Winged Boots clients for both existing and new bookings to ensure their holiday remained as seamless as possible. Similarly, following the pandemic, we spotted an increased desire for privacy and adapted our offering to meet this need. It is through accepting there will be changes and being able to pivot that luxury businesses will be able to weather the cost-of-living crisis.
2) The demand for wellness and mindfulness holidays will increase:
With the growing demands of everyday life and increased focus on mental health, holidaymakers increasingly want to switch off whilst abroad. This couldn’t be more relevant for the luxury travel sector, and this is a trend we will see continue to grow. Luxury clients will be increasingly interested in mindful holidays, whether that be yoga breaks or silent retreats and luxury travel businesses should look at how they can adapt their offerings to meet this growing demand.
3) The rise of the personal travel manager:
Taking a personal approach and maintaining trust with clients has always been critical in the luxury travel sector. At Winged Boots, we grew thanks to word of mouth and recommendations, and it is that bespoke, personal approach that helped maintain the business’ success. But with the constant challenges the industry and consumers have faced, the one-to-one approach with clients that personal travel managers provide is more important now than ever before and will continue to be. Luxury travel businesses need to be all the more conscious to take a bespoke, personal approach to each and every booking.