Steve Kimber, managing director of Carrier told travel agents at its conference that a luxury company’s brand should be reflected through things such as its website, logo, office and marketing tie-ups. In line with this consistency is important as well as discretion for clients particularly if they are celebrities.
“There has been a change from conspicuous consumption to individual travel driven by needs and experiences,” he explained. “The market has moved from quantity to quality but still wants to keep it relatively private. Words such as ‘authentic’ and ‘vintage’ will continue to be used and offer sense of place.”
Kimber added that luxury is a growing market and at a faster rate than business travel, with a move away from extravagance to experiential. It is thought around 54% of luxury travellers are likely to book through travel agents and he urged agents to become an expert in a field (such as spas) or a destination to really drive in the knowledge.
Kimber said the bulk of bookings are still for ‘tried and tested’ destinations in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, while some have moved from North Africa to Dubai and Tenerife due to the Arab Spring. He hinted there could be potential in luxury holidays to Iran and Iraq, adding that “places become so-so but experiences are long-lasting”.
“Attention to detail transcends a regular holiday to a luxury one,” he added.