Luxury travel is nothing new.
Affluent consumers have long been enjoying the benefits of travelling with extra comfort, exclusivity and service.
However, the travel industry has experienced many changes over the past two years, and the luxury sector and consumers are also evolving.
According to Skift, since the lifting of travel restrictions luxury tourism has been experiencing a boom in sales.
Now is the perfect time to capture the luxury travel market and take advantage of the current upturn in the industry.
Are you a tour operator looking to sell luxury vacations but don’t know where to start?
We’ve got you covered.
Read on for our top tips on how to sell luxury tour packages.
What is luxury travel?
Travel Daily Media defines luxury travel as “travelling with a great deal of comfort and quality, without any stress or hassle whatsoever. It involves an elevated travel experience with minimum vexation and maximum amenities.”
Luxury travel is different for each person. For some, it could be staying in a five-star hotel and dining in an exclusive restaurant, while for others it could be a trip to a remote jungle lodge or a weekend at a Disney resort.
The travel industry as a whole is highly experienced-based, and the luxury sector is no exception. Travel companies should offer the whole package, from the pre-booking stage to post travel.
Who is the luxury travel consumer?
The traditional perceptions of luxury travel are being challenged by the evolving needs of modern consumers. Travel companies should embrace these shifts in order to retain a competitive advantage and attract and retain consumers.
Luxury tourism today is less about exclusive hotels, first class flights and Michelin-starred restaurants and more about experiences, and consumers with high purchasing power are willing to spend more on these unique experiences and services.
According to Travel Market Report, there are three tribes in the luxury travel market: reward hunters, simplicity seekers and obligation meeters.
Reward hunters look for self-indulgent and high-end experiences to reward themselves for hard work and are happy to spend money to do the unique.
Simplicity searchers are looking for ease and transparency. They will give you complete control of their vacation, and the responsibility for delivering that goes with it.
Obligation meeters put their responsibilities, such as work or family, above their own travel desires, and schedule their trips around these things.
According to Barron’s, luxury travellers are increasingly interested in being more present and immersed in the destinations they visit, with many pursuing personal, life-altering experiences.
While in the past this type of consumer would be happy to spend their entire trip in an exclusive resort, today they are more likely to seek out unique and memorable experiences. More on travel experiences here.
And, luxury consumers generally have a larger budget to make their dream a reality. The growing segment of affluent millennial travellers also offers a huge opportunity for companies, with this consumer increasingly looking for personalised and authentic experiences.
Should my travel brand sell luxury tour packages?
Does luxury travel fit with your current brand? Consider your target market and which type of tours you want to sell.
For example, if you currently focus on offering budget tours, think about how you can modify your existing strategy, broaden your target consumer and create new business partnerships.
Luxury travel trends
View from ILTM identified some of the top trends that will define the future of luxury travel.
- Conscious travel
As we discussed in 6 trends that will continue to shape the Travel and Tourism Industry in 2022, consumers today are increasingly looking for more conscious and sustainable travel experiences. Sustainable luxury is a trend that is set to grow even more in the upcoming years.
- The rise of travel agencies
Travel agencies and tour operators provide extra security and peace of mind as well as expertise and professional service and can help consumers to navigate, select and customise their experiences.
- Lifestyle brands
Today’s luxury travel companies are not only accommodation providers, they are lifestyle brands that combine various aspects and often partner with artists, architects or designers to offer the ultimate experience.
- Hybrid experiences
Health and wellbeing is a huge trend in the luxury market, and according to Luxury Columnist, the luxury traveller of today is also becoming more and more adventurous. Tour operators are increasingly offering hybrid experiences that combine services such as wellness, adventure and cultural immersion in order to offer the whole package.
How to create personalised luxury tour packages
Creating a personalised experience is key in the travel sector as a whole, and even more so in the luxury segment.
And, a recent report by Skift found that technology and automation will play a defining role in the future of luxury travel. With Nezasa’s TripBuilder software you can create, plan and book hyper-personalised and flexible tour packages that your customers will love, all on a simple, innovative and user-friendly online platform.
Multi-day luxury tours
As we talked about in How to create Multi-Day Tour Packages, multi-day tours allow you to sell several travel components under one single booking transaction.
Multi-day tours, or tour packages, consisting of a combination of services which can include:
- Accommodation services
- Leisure activities and excursions
- Services such as rental cars or transfers
Multi-day luxury tours should aim to combine these elements in a form that offers customers the highest level of service possible, while giving them the ease and confidence of knowing that, if necessary, they can request the adjustment of different services included in the package
How to sell luxury tour packages
Luxury travel is all about experience, and travel companies should be present and offer clients the perfect luxury experience throughout the entire customer lifecycle.
According to Luxe Digital, there are four essential travel phases that matter in the customer journey:
And, according to Hospitality Insights, luxury travel should revolve around the 5 C’s: culture, cuisine, community, content and customisation.
Today’s luxury consumer wants to learn new things, experience local traditions and cultures and have an enriching and meaningful encounters.
Luxury travellers seek out culinary experiences, whether in the form of local cooking classes or fine-dining restaurants.
Although luxury travellers may not look for shared rooms or group excursions, they do want community in the form of events or optional tours.
Marketing materials such as social media and user-generated content are an essential part of modern luxury travel, offering consumers direct access to aspirational and authentic experiences. Luxe Digital explains that most affluent consumers research, plan and book their trips online, offering companies a huge opportunity to engage with and inspire their consumers across digital channels.
Perhaps the most important of all, customisation allows luxury travellers to create and enjoy their own unique travel experiences.
Travel agents and tour operators should aim to integrate these aspects in order to create, market and sell the perfect luxury travel itinerary.
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