The Future of Luxury Travel Report

Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel | Future Traveller Tribes 2030 15

Serving the new era of luxury travellers

“Middle class tourists from emerging markets want materialism. However, with the rise of middle classes in developing economies, luxury becomes less exclusive as more people are accessing it. As consumers become older, luxury becomes more about enrichment than materialism”

Ian Yeoman, Travel Futurologist

Experiential vs material goods

We know that luxury does not mean one thing to all. However, it’s clear that in mature markets, luxury has evolved to become increasingly bound up in experiences rather than things. One key trend driving the future of luxury travel is the shift in values from the material to the experiential – rather than saving up to buy luxurious possessions, people are choosing to spend their money on experiences. This chart from Future Foundation shows that there has been an incremental growth in expenditure on material goods from 2005 to 2015. However, this pales in comparison with the growth in expenditure on enriching experiences over the past decade. “We offer unique access to some of the most unavailable and undiscovered experiences one can imagine,” says Luigi Bajona, Partner at Onirikos, a boutique Italian destination management company and concierge. “We design ‘non-Googleable options’ – from a private gala dinner in Venice on the roof terrace of Peggy Guggenheim to a private visit to an excavation under the Vatican. We secured the most VIP tickets for the sold-out Bocelli concert, which will be held at Teatro del Silenzio in July.” As this trend continues, brands will appeal to luxury travellers via what they can deliver beyond their material product. Certain luxury customers will resist travel they consider to be pre-packaged and inauthentic – exclusive, one‑off experiences are what they seek. Brands that strike the right emotional chord with consumers will thrive over those reliant on the quality of their material offering. The new era of luxury travel will be about having access to the most incredible, transient experiences that money can buy, but only for a select few.

Total annual expenditure on enrichment vs material goods (in billions of euros, at current prices; January 2015 forecast)

Euros (billions)

Source: Oxford Economics/nVision, January 2015


Material Experiential





2005 2010 2015 2020 2025

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