Are you a candidate to luxury or a streetwise purchaser?

Isaac Mostovicz writes that less ostentation and more authenticity are the key trends in the luxury travel market ...

People are now seeking more adventure for their holidays

The changing pattern of luxury travel demands globally has been revealed in a new study that identifies four distinct profiles of luxury travellers for 2011/12.

Firstly, there is the “independent-minded” traveller who looks for active holidays and an authentic and personalised travel experience. As time is precious, they reject rigid sets of planned activities. Next, the “explorer”, who seeks incredible off-the-beaten-path vacations at limitless budgets. Then we have the “candidates to luxury”, who seek high quality and high service, and pay great heed to social status. Lastly there is the “streetwise purchaser”, a younger group of travellers for whom social media is a major influence on planning and booking.

The report, “The Future of Luxury Travel” identifies some emerging trends including a preference for a quieter, more discreet style of luxury, an increase in demand for open-range excursions, and a growing interest in off-the-beaten-track destinations and in areas with appeal to environmentally concerned and culturally interested travellers. The findings also advise that emerging destinations will gain importance as people strive for authenticity and new experiences, and exclusivity of course. Personalisation is an important feature too, and simplicity and seamless service rank highly among the main expectations of travellers.

Going back to the luxury traveller profiles, it is interesting to see facets of the Lambda and Theta personalities woven in. The “candidate to luxury” is very similar to the Theta person, who would look for a holiday that others in their social set would admire. The “streetwise purchaser” also shows Theta traits, as they get advice on where to go from their social networks. Both are more followers than pioneers in their choice of destination. The Lambda personality would identify with either the “independent-minded” traveller or the “explorer”: both seek differentiation, but perhaps the “independent-minded” traveller shows the most Lambda traits, as their main priority is uniqueness, adventure and absolute freedom.

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