A few weeks ago, I attended the New York Times Travel Show, an annual event hosted by the industry’s top professionals, with exhibitors from destinations around the globe. This Valentines Day I wanted to share the gift of luxury, and travel highlights with you for the upcoming year.
So what's new?
*Adventure is hot.
And not just in warm places. Now more than ever travelers are craving to explore every inch of the globe. Due to an increase in multigenerational travel, there are a lot more resilient travelers wandering about- think, mid-twentiers quitting their jobs to “find themselves”, or the adventurous parents cashing in on their “empty-nesting.” Regardless of everyone’s personal motivation to travel, there’s no doubt that people are willing to plunge into a YOLO moment, and seek adventure.
Spirited nomads are also yearning to connect with others, and social media has recently dominated the definition of connection. This means travelers have to take risky pics in order to get the most likes on Instagram. That being said, social media creates a comradery within the travel community, making experiences worth sharing with the world.
*Wellness is in.
And is a way to satisfy the traveler's desire to disconnect. In order to gratify this idea of "turning off", the first question one must ask is: how does one define wellness?
Some people associate wellness with tranquility, and so a deep tissue massage at the spa will do the trick. Others define wellness as exercise, and so sweating out all the toxins at the gym will check off the wellness box. Then some define wellness as meditation, and quieting the mind becomes the key to healing.
Regardless of whatever wellness means to you, I think we can all agree that the common theme in "being well" is to disconnect from everyone so that we can focus on ourselves. With 300 emails being slammed into our inboxes every day, it’s important to take time to focus on our health and well being. As a result, hotels, cruises, and even planes (think, future in-flight exercise) have adapted to this idea of wellness.
*We are redefining luxury.
To understand what luxury is we must first look at what luxury is not. Luxury is not stressful; it is not time constraining, it is not uncomfortable, and it is not inflexible. The luxury market is being redefined because the definition of luxury is being restructured. Travelers now want their experiences to be “authentic”- as organic as a clementine from Whole Foods. Stuffy is out, and all natural, eco-friendly is in. This means greener hotels, and attainable pampering.
The diversity of the luxury market is such that hotels, cruises, and aircrafts are adding a component of luxury to make experiences more...well, luxurious. An example: The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills has launched flexible check-in and checkout times. Why? So that customers have one less thing to worry about (hanging around the lobby until their room is ready, or rushing to leave their rooms before they take a shower). This little touch makes all the difference when choosing a hotel to stay at.
Additionally, the travel industry is making great strides towards adapting to luxury equality. All-inclusive resorts are becoming more popular by making upscale travel affordable to everyone, and making all guests feel like they’re on the VIP list.
All in all, good things are in store for the travel industry and the consumer in the coming year. The industry is adapting to what the client wants, and more importantly, listening to what the customer doesn’t want.
So spread the love this Valentines Day, and give your heart the gift of travel. Feel free to reach out to me for recommendations, or to help plan your next escape.
And remember…. “Not all those who wander are lost.”- – J. R. R. Tolkien