By Josephine Wawira
Luxury, as a way of travel can be independently seen from varying perspectives; from seeking rare and valuable experiences as well as the need to invest in emotional wellness. While conventional travel is associated with low cost adventure, travelers are increasingly shifting gear and are willing to part with the extra dollar for extra special attention and services. With an ever-bustling life, luxury is the new travel trend, if only to have everything taken care of while all you do is sit back, relax, and enjoy a dip into the pool water or a spa treatment for that therapeutic pleasure.
The shift, according to travel experts, is especially because of an upsurge in the spending power of the rising middle class particularly in developing countries. They, travelers, no longer consider travel as a privilege but rather as part of their yearly if not quarterly budgets. Whether solo, as a couple, family or a group of friends, middle class tourists have a taste for luxury, making it no more an exclusive for the elite, but an accessible option to a majority. For instance, a report by Transparency Market Research, a next-generation provider of syndicated research, shows that global luxury hotels market will continue to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% between 2015 and 2021. This is as published by Amadeus in a report titled, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel – Future Traveler Tribes 2030.
A vibrant Millennial generation of travelers is also a major contributor to the flux in luxury travel. “Unlike their predecessors and parents, the millennials have a knack for living to the full and packing all that is possible in a day. For them, buying experiences, and building memories comes above owning material wealth,” explains Cyrus Onyiego, Country Manager for Jumia Travel Kenya. Moreover, this group of travelers has also given increased popularity to bluxury, as young executives blend business with a couple of days of luxury travel around their business destinations.
Provision of discounted rates and travel packages by travel agents is also a key influencer, contributing to price affordability. With all factors put into consideration, one can only come to the conclusion that luxury travel will continue to gain popularity around the globe. This will lead to increased pressure to hoteliers and industry players to meet the needs of this category of travelers, such as offering personalized experiences.