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Luxury travel trends happening in 2012


River cruises, young families, all-inclusive and better value

Forbes outlines six luxury travel trends, which became evident at the Virtuoso Travel Week workshop and travel mart, held recently at The Bellagio in Las Vegas. First, river cruising appears to be the fastest growing sector of the travel business, in Europe, Asia and South America. Second, luxury travel increasingly involves younger travellers who are more affluent. Families in their early 30s and 40s are enjoying adventurous trips with young children.
Third, people are demanding undiscovered destinations – Bhutan for example, where luxury brands like Aman and Taj operate properties. Other countries on the discovery list include Colombia, Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina. Space is also waiting to be discovered – and this is point number four, as Virgin Galactic develops suborbital space flights which are now in the advanced stages of flight testing. More than 500 people have booked such flights.
Fifth, there are more all-inclusive options in luxury travel, so that travellers avoid additional airline, resort or cruise fees. And sixth, luxury operators are keen to bring added value. An example of this is the new Connections line debuting at the upscale tour operator Abercrombie & Kent next month. Its small-group itineraries will cost 30% less than the operator’s average tours.
[photo courtesy AMA Waterways]


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