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The Next Big Luxury Travel Trend...
As we head into 2011 The Luxury Travel Bible  gets some future forecasts from the people behind some of the world's most influential hotel groups - the owners and global trendsetters.
Stephen Brandman, Co-founder of Thompson Hotels
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
Technology is very important.  So anything you can do to have the guest's stay made easier whether it is ease of reservation or great wifi is important.
   Read Stephen Brandman's Expert Opinion
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
Personally I think the expectations of today's luxury traveller is constantly changing. I believe that Virgin Galactic will be the next frontier and shortly following this I think underwater exploration is going to be the next big trend and we're hoping to be a part of it with the launch of Virgin Oceanic in the future.
   Read Sir Richard Branson's Expert Opinion
Mark A. Edleson, President and CEO, Alila Hotels & Resorts
What do you think is the next big luxury travel trend?
It is hard to describe the next 'big' luxury travel trend because the trend in luxury is toward smaller, more personal and more unique experiences. People with the resources want to do things that are not accessible to others. They want larger yachts to access remote places or private coves. Luxury travel will become more focused on environment with people visiting vanishing ecosystems like the forests, pristine mountain lakes, watching whales migrate and walks through meadows in bloom. Time, space and rarity are where travel is trending.
    Read Mark A. Edleson's Expert Opinion
Dominique Loiseau , International Vice-President Relais & Châteaux
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
I don't really like this word 'luxury'. What we sell is an experience, that's the real trend in modern travel. You can have a wonderful experience in a lodge in Africa or a chalet in Switzerland. In my property we try to deliver the whole experience. Intimacy is another thing that is becoming increasingly important to people.
    Read Dominique Loiseau's Expert Opinion 
Claus Sendlinger, CEO & President Design Hotels
What is the next big luxury hotel design trend?
Genuine craftsmanship is making a major comeback. Outsourced mass production is giving way to meticulously, often locally handcrafted pieces. For instance, Louis Hotel in Munich, guestrooms feature handcrafted furnishings like their custom-made 'Travelling Case Wardrobes' which are closets inspired by old-fashioned steamer trunks. These kinds of handmade goods are perfect precisely because of their imperfection. Hoteliers are also increasingly using local sources to find furnishings instead of buying them from design outlets. For instance, at Town Hall Hotel and Apartments, 70% of the furniture is vintage pieces collected from dealers and vintage shops.
    Read Claus Sendlinger's Expert Opinion
Bernard Lambert, CEO, Monte-Carlo S.B.M.
What is the next big luxury travel trend? 
From my point of view, the next luxury travel trend will be personalised experiences. People want experiences that are fun, up-to-the-minute and entertaining but that are truly different and have the 'wow' effect.
     Read Bernard Lambert's Expert Opinion
Stefano Ugolini, President & Founder, Hotelphilosophy 
What is the next big hotel design trend? 
I think it is to offer a warm and welcoming experience to the guests. Nothing minimal. Something glamorous, stylish. A space where people are totally taken in, in all senses.
   Read Stefano Ugolini's Expert Opinion 
Sarina Bratton, Founder and Managing Director,
Orion Expedition Cruises
What is the next big luxury cruise trend?
Small luxury cruising! With a twist. Not just a comfortable deck chair, casino, white glove service and a gin and tonic at hand, but the personal enrichment of engaging experiences with wildlife, with the wilderness, with ancient cultures, many of which are literally life changing. Like small luxury hotels, the personal attention you get onboard a smaller vessel adds an additional dimension. Now roll in the stimulation of becoming involved in ancient cultures far removed from our own, in remote places almost impossible to access in any other way and you have what I see as the next big cruise trend - high-quality EXPEDITION cruising. 
     Read Sarina Bratton's Expert Opinion 
Wayne Kirkpatrick, Managing Director of Delaware North Australia Parks & Resorts
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
Conspicuous consumption will always exist but more people will be seeking simple, natural pleasures. Luxury is not about marble, fountains, expensive artwork, highly manicured gardens and waiters in dinner suits with Reidel glassware. Luxury is the attainment of something unique by the few who seek it out. Yes, quality and style are pre requisites, but it's not pretentious, plastic, 'posy'.
     Read Wayne Kirkpatrick's Expert Opinion 
Sonu Shivdasani, Founder Six Senses Group  
What is the next big luxury travel trend?  
Something that Six Senses has been doing for some time, experiential holidays. Six Senses core purpose is to create innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenate our guests. I believe that the 'snowball' of experience-led holidays has properly begun, just as 10 years ago the spa as a destination, bloomed worldwide.
Another travel trend will be sustainable 'green' holidays, which again Six Senses, it being the very core of our being, is very much the leader and pioneer.
   Read Sonu Shivdasani's Expert Opinion

Pamela Conover, CEO & President , Yachts of Seabourn 

What is the next big luxury cruise trend?

I think it's one of growth, clearly, but it continues to be very experiential. People want to go and experience a destination and discover interesting cultures and really feel and taste them firsthand in a very up close and personal way.

Affluent people tend to have experienced a lot. There's an element of having done so much that they are looking for something slightly different and they're also reflecting and realising what is important to them. 
        Read Pamela Conover's Expert Opinion 
Sandy Oatley, Chairman, Hamilton Island Enterprises
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
I think it's about experience and not gadgets any more - I think people are so time pressured and the luxury they crave is to be able to stop for a moment and take time out of their hectic lives and have someone anticipate their needs, whether that's to get them a glass of champagne or to know when to leave them completely at rest.
         Read Sandy Oatley's Expert Opinion 

Steve Odell, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Silversea

What is the next big luxury cruise trend?

In such a dynamic industry, new standards are set with each ship launch. The latest buzzword in luxury cruising is 'lifestyle' and we constantly strive to anticipate the demands of our discerning guests. They tend to be wine and food connoisseurs and thus expect a choice of gourmet dining options. Onboard, they require similar levels of space and comfort as they enjoy at home, so there is demand for larger suites with the highest quality bedding, flat screen televisions and Wi-Fi. Wellbeing is also paramount; state-of-the-art spa facilities and wellbeing offerings such as healthy spa cuisine and fitness facilities and activities are considered vital for guests. Cruises with more adventure are definitely set to increase, especially to areas such as Antarctica and the Arctic. 
     Read Steve Odell's Expert Opinion
John Spence, Chairman & Founder, Karma Group
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
People don't want generic experiences any more. They want something tailored specifically to their needs. They don't want amorphous hotels they want something unique. Bespoke and boutique - that's where we're heading.
     Read John Spence's Expert Opinion

Marilynne Paspaley, Founder and Managing  Director of Pinctada Hotels & Resorts

What is the next big luxury travel trend?
A new twist on 'caring for the environment' - hotels and resorts that celebrate the natural environment and climate of their destination. So often hotels create their own wonderful world within, but there is no interaction with the world outside - closed windows and a reliance on air conditioning and electric lights are the most common barriers. The design brief for Pinctada Cable Beach was to respect Broome's architectural vernacular and 'bring the outdoors inside'.  This not only enables our guests to enjoy the Kimberley destination, but also reduces the need for lighting and air conditioning which complements our other environmental sustainability initiatives in further reducing the spa resort's carbon footprint.
       Read Marilynne Paspaley's Expert Opinion
Grant Hunt, Founder ANTHOLOGY, The Traveller's Collection
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
Bespoke, authentic experiences and adventures (I hope). But the price/quality balance will play a bigger role going forward.
      Read Grant Hunt's Expert Opinion
So there you have it, the best in the business have shared what to expect in 2011 in the
world of luxury travel.
Posted 17/1/11
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