Globetrender has launched its debut Future of Luxury Travel Forecast: 2020-2025, which reveals 25 trends for the new decade including Space Tourism, Radical Sabbaticals and Ephemeral Hotels
The Future of Luxury Forecast, which is available to download now for £195, was co-authored by Globetrender editor and founder Jenny Southan, and John O’Ceallaigh, the former luxury travel editor of The Telegraph. He is also the founder of consultancy, communications and content agency, lute.co.
From Space Tourism and Immortality Retreats, to Radical Sabbaticals and Ephemeral Hotels, the 70-plus page report reveals 25 eye-opening, highly specific macro trends that are setting the agenda for the next five years of luxury travel. It also shares interviews with industry innovators and thought-leaders who reveal their insights and predictions for the years ahead.
Southan says: “A few decades ago, most people agreed luxury travel meant staying in five-star hotels, butler service and eating in Michelin-star restaurants, things that were only attainable to the truly monied. Now, it is no longer satisfying to be isolated and pampered in a way that means we rarely engage with the ‘real world’ around us.
“Today, not only has luxury travel been democratised to some degree but the very definition of it has become expanded. In the 2020s, it will be trips that offer life enhancement, inner transformation, cultural appreciation and physical graft that hold the most desire and social currency. Wealthy travellers are becoming more intrepid, even going so far as to seek discomfort.
“The trends we have identified in this report all reflect these things in different ways, whether it’s seeking out time in the wilderness, taking extended career breaks to travel the world, working on conservation projects or going into space.”
The report comes at a time when the luxury travel industry is facing impressive growth – according to Grand View Research, Inc, the luxury travel industry will be worth more than US$2.5 trillion by 2025, up from US$1.8 trillion in 2018.
This is a consequence not only of a growing number of worldwide millionaires and billionaires, but the rise of the middle classes, who are becoming ever-more wealthy and aspirational. The new decade will also see a huge shift away from materialism to experientialism as drivers of status, which only heightens the value of travel.
O’Ceallaigh, says: “The old conventions and standards that defined luxury travel are losing ground as trailblazers and disruptors respond to changing consumer sentiments and demands with new initiatives and innovations.
“Researching and co-authoring this report served as a powerful reminder for me that change is full of opportunity and true creativity and credibility is rewarded. That seismic change is going to ripple through the luxury-travel sector in the coming years is a certainty – it’s an exciting time for the industry.”
The report has been sponsored by Cookson Adventures, the leading specialists in ultra-luxury experiential travel, with a focus on conservation and sustainability. Henry Cookson, the company’s founder, is a dedicated adventurer and a Guinness World Record holder for the first expedition to the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility (the exact centre of the Antarctic Continent) on foot.
A spokesperson from Cookson Adventures says: “The Globetrender Luxury Travel Forecast is an important step for the travel industry to realise its profound potential, both for the curiosity of travellers and benefit of the planet. It demonstrates how travel operators are major players in the world of innovation and Cookson Adventures is leading the charge in this field.
“Globetrender has quickly become a leading platform championing the emerging trends in travel and our support of the report is in line with our own ambition in this space. Trends like carbon neutrality – and wider conservation and sustainability efforts – are particularly close to our hearts as we continue to explore the planet, ensuring its remote and fragile ecosystems are protected and preserved.”
Here are excerpts from three defining luxury travel trends for 2020-2025:
1. SPACE TOURISM
Space tourism is undeniably the most thrilling luxury travel trend for the new decade, offering private citizens the chance to take part in truly revolutionary extra-terrestrial journeys, without having to train to become professional astronauts.
Having unveiled its Spaceport America departure terminal in 2019, as well as civilian space suits designed by Under Armour, Virgin Galactic plans to launch debut flights to the edge of space, 50 miles up, in 2020. Meanwhile, Zero To Infinity envisions taking people on a 4.5-hour journey, 22 miles above Earth, in a zero-emission helium balloon called Bloon by the end of 2021.
2. RADICAL SABBATICALS
In response to increasing demand for career breaks with purpose, London-based tour operator Original Travel has developed a sabbatical division and constructs extended itineraries that focus on specific goals, be they finally learning to dance the tango with the experts in Argentina or assisting a turtle-conservation project in Costa Rica. They typically last from three to 12 months.
Aardvark Safaris’ so called “sensational sabbaticals” similarly emphasise environmentalism and sustainability, and might involve a months-long expedition through African reserves to assist at a Kenyan rhino sanctuary before joining the team at Singita’s offering in Tanzania to learn more about the latest anti-poaching strategies.
3. EPHEMERAL HOTELS
Luxury thrives when it provides a sense of exclusivity, so what could be more desirable than a never-to-be-repeated hotel, resort or glamping stay that is yours alone? A number of emerging limited-edition accommodation concepts have made this thought a central tenet of their offering, and are delivering their privileged guests a range of hyper-personalised experiences while they’re in residence, to boot.
Take 700,000 Heures, which emerged – discreetly – as the “world’s first wandering hotel” in late 2018. Every six months, the concept “pops up” in a unique and remarkable private abode for a one-off residency. In 2020, it will be going to Japan, taking over an historic temple in Koyasan and a traditional house in a fishing village, with stays costing €2,500 a night.