How Occupy Movement is changing luxury travel

Ultra-wealthy spend more privately, but also socially responsibly
A new study conducted by MyTravelResearch.com has shown that increasing inequality in wealth is a factor that is changing the nature of luxury travel.
Social and political forces such as the Occupy Movement and government austerity cuts are driving some of the wealthy to spend more privately, yet encouraging the rise of socially responsible luxury travel.
An increase in purchases of mega yachts and private islands is evidence that the ultra-rich are trending towards private consumption habits, away from the prying eyes of the public, said Carolyn Childs, co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com, at the Luxperience Thought Leaders seminar in Sydney yesterday.
Technological change and its impact on workplace communications has also triggered a counter demand among the rich to de-tech completely while on holiday, she added.
The emergence of the nouveau riche, not least in China, India as well as G7 economies, has seen luxury consumers around the world splinter into personality types such as “philanthropist”, “dynast”, “lotus eater”, “hedonist”, “pioneer”, “jet setter”, “enrichment seeker” and “replenisher”, according to Childs.
The luxury travel sector has also seen the rise of aspirational consumers who are willing to splurge depending on three factors: the occasion (honeymoon or anniversary), the experience (a trip to Antarctica), and the consumer’s ability to trade up or down (sacrificing a stay in a five-star hotel and instead taking a helicopter ride to a spectacular dinner).
“We now see the rise of responsible resorts such as El Nido in the Philippines where high-end travellers are both pampered and give back to the community,” she said. “Luxury travel is now increasingly defined by a rising commitment to people, planet and self-improvement as much as indulgence pampering and conspicuous consumption.”
Childs also revealed that luxury travellers rely on elite travel advisors. Referring to them as “magicians”, Child said: “These Gandalfs and Merlins are completely service-minded, very creative control freaks who try to anticipate the psychological and physical needs of their clients. They have to deliver magic. They dread saying ‘no’ to a customer who is only used to hearing ‘yes’.”
In partnership with Luxperience, MyTravelResearch.com will publish the in-depth study in December 2015.
TTG Asia

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