In a recent Walpole-hosted panel discussion on the “Art of British Hospitality”, Globetrender founder Jenny Southan revealed what will drive luxurians of tomorrow.
Members of Walpole’s community of British luxury lifestyle and travel brands, gathered earlier this week to discuss the findings of The Art of British Luxury Hospitality, a new report produced in collaboration with brand agency, Notable.
The panel also featured Charles Oak, hotel director for The Londoner; Julia Perowne, founder and CEO of Perowne International; Jules Maury, head of programme for Scott Dunn Private; and Gary Franklin, senior vice-president for trains and cruises at Belmond.
Southan said: “I feel like we’re going to be entering the ‘Age of Ego’. On the one hand, rightly so, we’ve been talking a lot about sustainability and responsible travel but at the same time you’re going to see huge amount of wealth emerging, especially in Asia, and I think that this will create a kind of push back which will manifest as this Age of Ego, which will be the pursuit of self-gratification, hedonism, decadence, indulgence, pampering and status. It’s going to be very selfish I suspect.”
Consider how Gen Z are gobbling up caviar even though they are broke – it makes Millennials’ penchant for avocado on toast seem positively humble.
Southan said: “We were talking about fragility in the earlier report but I think also what we’ve seen is that human beings are incredibly resilient and with that comes this [sense of] denial, essentially. We are so good at just carrying on even when the world is burning and we’re experiencing these catastrophes, which is great on the one hand but also can be detrimental but I think this is the direction of things. With every trend you have a counter trend, just in the way that you’ve seen you know ‘generation woke’ emerging you’re also seeing the rise of right wing politics around the world – these two things coexist.
“You see these paradoxes all the time. Travel is on the one hand going to be far more ethical and sustainable but the travel industry has got to be driving it because big industries have been trying to put the responsibility on consumers for so long. BP created the concept of the carbon footprint to make you and I all feel bad about how much carbon we are putting into the world when it’s really these big corporations. So consumers – rightly or wrongly – are going to want to consume travel, they’re going to want to travel to these places and have a fantastic time but we [the travel industry] have to be responsible for trying to lessen the impact of that.”
“Travel is expected to be worth US$15.5 trillion dollars by 2030 – that’s up from US$9.5 trillion today. There are about 2,700 billionaires right now on Earth – not many. There’s 171 in the UK and 2.8 million millionaires in the UK. By 2030, experts believe there will be 50 million millionaires in China and six million millionaires in India. Look at where the wealth is going to be in about seven years’ times. About 13% of the population of Singapore will be dollar millionaires. There is a lot of money coming out of this world and most of these people are going to want to spend it on travel.
“Space travel – it’s amazing it’s not in news more. Virgin Galactic has launched his first commercial flights this year with paying customers. By 2030 they could be flying 3,400 passengers per year up to the edge of space. You’ve got lots of innovation happening in this realm. You’ve got these amazing helium powered airships with rooms that you can sleep in and bars and restaurants. They can take off and land vertically almost anywhere and you can do these week-long air cruises. I know Pelorus and Cookson Adventures are partnering with the companies that are building these airships to provide extraordinary voyages around the world.
“People will also be able to go up with companies like Zephalto and have a Michelin-star meal in a stratospheric balloon capsule – you just float silently up and for six hours you drink champagne and look at the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space. Extraordinary experiences are coming our way so there will be lots of wonderful things to spread money on.”