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Luxury tourism: modality grows with new formats

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed tourism as a whole. We have been talking about the new modalities that have emerged, such as slow travel and experience tourism, or have gained strength, such as ecotourism. Contrary to expectations, a sector that was boosted in the first moments of the resumption of travel was luxury tourism, albeit in formats different from the traditional concept.

According to ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market), luxury travel represented 50% of total travel sales in the pandemic, while 62% of travel agents and consultants interviewed stated that customers were spending more on tourism than in the period before the crisis sanitary. The modality is responsible for a quarter of all income generated by the sector, says the World Tourism Organization.

It is worth mentioning that luxury trips are not only being taken to other countries. Restrictions linked to the pandemic encouraged Brazilian tourists to explore the national territory. The BLTA (Brazilian Luxury Travel Association) points out that 64% of members report that the customer profile changed during the period – so much so that the sector earned, in 2021, 47.2% more than in 2019.

What is luxury

The Michaelis dictionary defines luxury as “a lifestyle that is characterized by excessive ostentation and spending on expensive and superfluous consumer goods; pomp, refinement, sumptuousness.” Although those looking for a luxury trip expect certain amenities and comfort, today this modality is much more linked to unique, personalized and sustainable experiences.

Of course, there are still “traditional” luxury hotels – and demand – with accommodations measuring more than 1,000 m², four suites, a jacuzzi and details such as gold door handles. However, the “new” luxury includes travel focused on experience rather than ostentation. In other words, there is a demand for cultural enrichment, authenticity and exclusivity. One example is last chance tourism – travel to places whose ecosystem is threatened.

This tourist also seeks high-standard accommodation and restaurants, but in destinations that are not so common – usually remote and isolated – and cannot be easily found in an internet search. He wants activities that he can participate in and not just be a mere spectator who will make the occasion just an Instagram post.

Sustainability and biosecurity

“Excessive ostentation” was replaced by sustainability. Today, travelers are concerned about the impacts of tourism. So, they look for experiences in which all agents, such as hotels, restaurants and other activities of interest, are concerned about the impacts of their activities not only on the environment, but also on the community where they are located.

This means that there is a concern to conserve all biodiversity, develop low environmental impact practices and enable tours with a reduced carbon footprint. Furthermore, luxury tourists value the establishments' initiatives, such as hiring people from the community, encouraging the circular economy and using products that do not harm the environment.

And, following the pandemic, there is a huge demand for biosafety. Tourists are more demanding regarding the cleaning routine of accommodations and common areas, and tend to prioritize places with outdoor experiences and that require proof of vaccination and/or a negative Covid-19 test.

Longer, more personalized stays

After being confined to their homes, people are looking to stay as much as possible on their trips. It is no different in the luxury market, and guests tend to stay more days than in the pre-pandemic period, either touring and enjoying the destination, or to work from home in a different place or a mix of both, called staycations. .

Therefore, hotels must be prepared for this change, creating a structure – such as including office tables and chairs – for remote work and studies, in the case of families with children and students. And, as the accommodation will be this tourist's home for the next few days, it is important to focus on details that bring more comfort, such as spa service, bath and hygiene kit, such as masks and alcohol gel, and other amenities.

Another demand that has gained strength is personalization. In this sense, it is important that the establishment gets to know its customer, adding activities according to their profile – couple or family, dietary restrictions, tour preferences (night or day) and, currently, even whether they want to contact the hotel team via email. health issues. Providing this service requires good service before, during and after the stay.

Offering quality amenities is part of a luxury service. Consult us to find out about Harus products and services!

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