From Ultra Itineraries to Hyper Personalisation, Globetrender has partnered with Ultima Collection to reveal five elite travel trends for 2021.
Globetrender’s new report on Elite Travel Trends 2021, produced in association with Ultima Collection, examines five trends that will be particularly meaningful among the 0.01 per cent in 2021, as the global Covid pandemic continues to demand a recalibrated approach to travel.
“It’s always interesting to examine what is happening at the very highest echelons of travel, as this is often where trends begin,” says Jenny Southan, founder of Globetrender.
“Throughout the pandemic, high-net-worth individuals have been able to circumnavigate many of the travel restrictions the average person is faced with by chartering private aircraft and relocating to less urban outposts, whether in their own country or abroad. They can also more freely travel for business purposes, which allows them to cross borders when others can’t.
“By partnering with Ultima Collection, Globetrender has been able to identify some of the trends that will be most significant in 2021 for this demographic, at a time when both travellers and even the travel industry itself feels powerless to plan for the future. These trends show what wealthy consumers of tomorrow want and how their motivations and priorities are shifting.”Ultima Collection caters to the world’s most discerning clientele with a growing portfolio of 25 residences across six European destinations (Courchevel, Geneva, Megève, Gstaad, Crans-Montana and Corfu).
Michala Chatel, managing partner for Ultima Collection, says: “What we saw from the second the word ‘pandemic’ came out was that everyone was calling us because they wanted to have these homes away from home. They were looking for that safety model.”
She adds: “At our new Courchevel property you get the feeling of being in a hotel and all of the facilities that come with it but also the privacy of your own space. For example, you can cook for yourself, get room service to your chalet or request a chef to come and cook for you. It gives you more choice and autonomy.”
What lies ahead for elite travellers? Chatel says: “I think that those who can travel are going to keep doing so. Elite travellers tend to be more flexible. For a start, those who have the means to fly private can travel twice as easily as those people who go by commercial [airlines], as there are roughly double the number of private airports in Europe…
“I still believe that staycations will be a big thing for 2021 – a lot of people will want to test the water before they go on a big trip – but from what I’ve seen, there’s a crazy appetite for travel.”
Here, Chatel comments on the five trends we feature in our Elite Travel Trends 2021 report, which you can download free here.
1. Private Buy-Outs
Certainly not a novelty amongst the ultra-wealthy, the demand for private buy-out properties has surged, with privacy being one of the most important factors in luxury travel. Catering to this demand, the majority of Ultima Collection’s 25 residences can be entirely bought out for any length of time.
Both Ultima Megève and Ultima Corfu are standalone residences, each capable of hosting up to 18 and 14 guests respectively, whilst the two chalets at Crans-Montana are often booked together under one booking. Similarly, booking patterns have seen Courchevel’s 13 chalets be booked out in pairs by groups of friends or families looking to spend quality time together, in a home-away-from-home environment.
2. Hyper Personalisation
The Ultima team place personalisation at the forefront of the Ultima experience. Starting from the moment their guests share their interests and preferences, the goal is not to just get to know their preferences, but to anticipate their needs weeks before their arrival.
At the very least, Ultima will source their guests’ favourite, and often hard-to-find, delicacies and fill their wardrobes with their preferred ski or swimwear brands. Ultima recognises what wealthy travellers require in order to make their holiday truly memorable and strives to build on existing guest relationships, ensuring that every single guest feels special.
3. Home-to-Home Holidays
Working from home has blurred the boundaries between personal and professional life. With this in mind, Ultima is noticing that UHNW individuals are semi-permanently relocating to private residences, often for several months at a time, that can accommodate a working environment and provide the facilities required to continue day-to-day life as normal.
Each Ultima property features a fully equipped office, a convenient remote learning space for children, and all the facilities of a functioning home, with or without the accompanying services of a chef and housekeeping team. Guests of Ultima Collection can continue to work as normal, with the additional benefits of a serviced home, and a refreshing change of scenery.
4. Ultra Itineraries
Determined to make up for lost time, 2021 is set to be a blow-the-budget year for luxury travellers, with an uptick in demand for “once in a lifetime” adventures. Ultima Collection is confident in delivering an unmatched itinerary of experiences to its guests with every hour of their stay personalised and curated ahead of their arrival.
Ultima’s dedicated team are able to make the seemingly impossible possible, and often at very short notice.
What better way to bypass airport check-ins than with 2021’s latest travel accessory; the helicopter transfer. Luxaviation reported a significant rise both in helicopter ownership requests and long-term charters, with the wealthy looking to hop safely from airport to property to yacht.
Each Ultima property has a helipad in close proximity, whilst Ultima Megève has one on-site. In a similar vein, Ultima reports that 95 per cent of their guests flew by private jet in 2020, and only expect this number to increase this year.