A key luxury travel trend for 2022, personalized travel may not be something new, but with precious time to make up for, creating the perfect vacation has never been more important.
Travelers are seeking an increasingly personalized luxury travel experience, from the wilderness of a South African safari, through the vineyards of Europe, to the iconic cities of the USA.
The trend for personalized travel
Personalization is a staple feature of our everyday lives, and it is something we have come to expect in all areas, from shopping to entertainment and all aspects of travel. A recent study by Virtuoso for YouGov found that 80% of travelers would spend more on brands that tailor products to them. The feeling that you are known, understood and can tailor your vacation is essential. On the flip side, more than half (63%) of customers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics according to marketing firm Smart Insights.
Whilst the personal touch has always been an important feature of luxury travel, the trend is constantly evolving. Developments in traveler maturity and expectations, alongside technological advancements in everyday life, are driving demand for increasingly personalized luxury travel experiences. We are more independent than ever, with a desire for bespoke itineraries, curated experiences and accommodations coupled with expert recommendations and personal service.
So why is it so important now?
With so many having waited a long time for their next vacation, this means travelers have had a lot of opportunity to think about what they really want. This year’s American Express Travel Global Travel Trends Report showed that 64% of respondents agreed that they were spending more on international travel this year. Along with dream destinations, there is an increasing need to really make a journey count, and to get more for your money.
The luxury traveler is seeking to learn new things and have new experiences while abroad. Placing value on cultural heritage, performance arts, storytelling, and VIP experiences that showcase unique traditions and techniques. And, when parting with a lot of money for that journey of a lifetime, the ability to tailor a vacation to individual needs and interests lies at the core of a luxury travel experience. With the increasing demand for luxury guided travel, a dichotomy for many guests is how can group travel still remain personal?
Personalization on a group tour?
Jen Hirtle, Head of Travel Experiences at Luxury Gold explains: “A key challenge is, how do you offer a group experience that still provides that personal tailoring and attention? There are several layers to achieving this. With Luxury Gold we offer free time on our tours, for guests to choose what they can do. And we also offer thoughtfully curated options. The difference with Luxury Gold is that we anticipate the personalization.
“An essential part of the offering is the Travelling Concierge, who skillfully tailors experiences for both the group, and for the individual guests. So, you get a guided vacation, but within that you get the flexibility to make it your own.”
Options and free time
“Personalized travel is about more than endless choice; it is about curating a variety of experiences to cater to different tastes.” Jen explains further. “For example, we have experiences that appeal to more active people, those that delight lovers of art and architecture and those that cater for guests looking for a more relaxing time. The choices are so distinctly different that guests easily know what they want to do to create a customized tour. Even for couples, sometimes you don’t want to do the same thing as your what partner, and when you come back together you have something exciting to talk about.”
“We also offer free time, for guests to spend how they choose. This may mean enjoying the amenities of your luxurious hotel or maybe further exploring a destination. However, we find many people don’t know what they want to do and want to be inspired, that’s why they take a guided tour, to receive recommendations and be surprised. For this, the expertise and assistance of the Travelling Concierge is invaluable.”
Your Travelling Concierge
Along with our thoughtfully curated itineraries and excellent customer service, key to the Luxury Gold experience is the Travelling Concierge. Whilst personalization can come from planning technology, customer knowledge and research, the best and most memorable kind is just natural. Highly skilled in their role and destinations, the Travelling Concierge creates a seamless, bespoke, personalized travel experience for every guest, and for every group.
A combination of talking to guests about their needs and desires, and a fine intuition and observance of preferences and behavior, allows the Travelling Concierge to seamlessly, and often invisibly, tailor the luxury vacation experience. This covers the basic elements of the tour, from hotel check ins, room preferences to restaurant reservations and choices of entertainment. They also offer expert curation of guest’s free time, suggesting sights and activities that appeal to individual preferences, often known only to locals. Ensuring special celebrations are occasions to remember, they will do their utmost to turn any requests into reality.
Jen adds “An exceptional amount of detail goes into running a luxury guided tour day to day and that amount of attention also goes into doing the extra. It is like having a superhuman concierge at your service. With Luxury Gold, guests receive so much more, we always try to exceed expectations.”