The luxury tourism sector is entering a new era and currently is growing faster than the overall global tourism market. Luxury businesses will rely heavily on successfully marketing their products and services to take advantage of this affluent and fast growing sector.
According to a tourism industry report published recently by Tourism Economics, growth in luxury tourism slightly exceeded that for overall tourism from 2011-2015, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.5% (4.2% for overall travel). The luxury hospitality market buttresses these results by reporting significant growth in the volume of hotel stays between 2014-2015 when 7% year-on-year growth was achieved (2015 Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study from Bain & Company). North America continues to dominate the global luxury tourism share, but global growth is given momentum thanks to an already thriving global tourism industry and an increase in affluent middle classes who are demanding unique travel experiences.
The luxury travel sector’s outbound trips are expected to grow by 6.2% over the next 10 years, yet another figure that exceed the overall travel and tourism industry (4.8%). Tourism Economics states that, “North America and Western Europe currently account for 64% of the world’s outbound luxury trips – despite only making up 18% of the global population. This clear majority of the market share will continue over the next 10 years; the maturity of these luxury markets and the relative affluence of their populations explain this dominance.”
Marketing Goods & Services Towards the Experiential Luxury Tourist
In mature markets where luxury is already bountiful, consumer trends have shifted towards lifestyle experiences over material goods. Onirikos, a specialized travel management and concierge firm in Italy, states that they “design ‘non-Googleable options’ from a private gala dinner on the roof of the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice to a private visit to an excavation project within the Vatican”.
This upward trend is forecasted to continue well into the future and brands will increasingly have to transmit a unique experience that goes beyond what their actual products provide. Luxury tourists will increasingly ignore travel that they perceive as pre-packaged. Luxury brands that successfully market themselves with a singular emotional and experiential element are poised to thrive in this demanding industry sector.
Talent Development for the Luxury Tourism Industry
Professionals that are trained to help businesses achieve end-to-end luxury experiences through innovative technologies, sound management strategies, an ability to define trends, and who possess the soft skills that always give priority to the human element, will be required by leading luxury brands in order to be successful. Moving into the future the luxury tourism industry will be less-fragmented and marketing experts will be tasked with overcoming the challenges posed by integrating the end-to-end luxury experience. Les Roches Global Hospitality Education in Marbella, Spain is prepared to help marketing professionals take advantage of the career opportunities in the luxury sector with a one-year (6-month academic semester in Marbella & 6-month industry internship) specialized Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management for Luxury Tourism.