The Modern Luxury Traveler
By John T.A. Vanderslice Global Head, Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Worldwide | December 08, 2013
The luxury travel market has remarkably transformed in recent years. One of the world's leaders in research for consumer regions throughout the world, Euromonitor has spelled out some of the stark changes. Emerging markets are growing faster than advanced markets to drive worldwide growth of the luxury segment. While traditional travel destinations (Italy, France and the U.K.) are still the most popular, Gulf countries and China are growing fastest. Today's luxury traveler considers the entire globe to be a potential destination; whereas past generations may not have looked past Western Europe.
Overall, there are now more luxury travelers than ever before. Euromonitor notes the world's high net worth individuals - defined as those with liquid assets in excess of U.S. $1 million - are increasing in number, not only in the U.S., Japan and Germany, but in China, Brazil and India as well. And these consumers are younger. According to CapGemini's 2011 World Wealth Report, 17% of high net worth individuals are under the age of 45, up from 13% just two years prior.
At Hilton Worldwide, we have witnessed this industry's transformation firsthand across our Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts brands. Today, our global luxury brands portfolio growth has given us a unique vantage point to see the evolution of expectations among luxury travelers.
There are several features that are now more prevalent among today's luxury travelers. For one, they require personalized service, which we define as not merely a high level of attention to every guest, but bespoke in the eyes of the individual. Luxury consumers expect services tailored to their interests and passion points. Today's consumers are gravitating toward unforgettable experiences; demanding experiential services, versus access to an accommodating staff, comfortable amenities and a delicious meal.
For our luxury brands, these features aren't passing curiosities or anecdotes to be shared with our loved ones. They are our mandate. We succeed or fail based on our ability to understand our guests' mindset and evolve our offering to exceed expectations. What makes a hotel distinct in the minds of consumers - what separates luxury from lavishness - is the performance of the staff, their responsiveness, flexibility, intelligence and curiosity. It is truly about the hotel's ability to understand you. Creating a consistent and elevated level of service is our shared responsibility.
Delivering Personalized Luxury
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