This week’s top story is about luxury marketing.

With economic headwinds stiffening around the globe, luxury businesses that depend on high-spending consumers are being forced to rethink their approach. Luckily for the travel industry, the continued consumer shift towards experiences over things is helping to keep spending strong for travel. What other luxury travel trends will see increased interest this year? Read on below for more.

Luxury Travel Marketers Forecast Key Trends for the Year Ahead
With China’s economy undergoing a period of relative instability and consumers’ spending habits shifting towards experiences over products, luxury marketers face a challenging environment for the year ahead. As the luxury travel industry considers the top trends for 2016, many are focusing on themes like art, real human connections and personalization to attract luxury travelers. Read more

Despite FTC Warnings, Many Advertisers Still Ignore Native Content Rules
Although there’s been plenty of hand-wringing by marketers in recent years over the Federal Trade Commission’s rules for native advertising, few in the travel industry have done much to change their approach. That attitude was further underlined by a new report suggesting as much as 70% of sponsored content online does not adhere to the FTC’s most recent rules. Read more

Tourism Australia CMO Downplays Virtual Reality Marketing “Hype”
The last six months have seen a steady stream of hype for how travel marketers might tap into virtual reality to run successful marketing campaigns. However, as Lisa Ronson, chief marketing officer for Tourism Australia pointed out at a recent conference, running a successful VR campaign ultimately depends on the content. As Ronson notes, the technology still depends on brands creating compelling content in order for such efforts to succeed with travelers. Read more

Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport and KLM Test New Customer Service Robot
The airline industry has seen a number of moves in recent years to try to expand and improve on the customer service offered to guests. While this typically entails increased focus on channels like social media, or even messaging apps, KLM is taking this approach to the next level, testing a customer service robot that can scan boarding passes and help passengers find their gate at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport. Read more

Marriott Uses Twitter Contest to Engage Loyalty Members 
There’s no question that hotel loyalty programs are in the midst of a dramatic shift, with many chains rethinking not only how the programs work, but what benefits they should deliver to increasingly mobile-focused consumers. One brand that’s found success is Marriott, which used a Twitter contest during Super Bowl 50 to appeal to its loyalty members on the ground in San Francisco. Read more

China’s Enduring Tourism Boom Drives Overseas Spending
Despite the continued problems of a country-wide economic downturn, China’s outbound tourism spending seems to keep going up. Although some outside observers wonder how China’s economic slowdown might impact travel outlays, many analysts suggests the country’s continued urbanization and rapidly-expanding middle class will continue to fuel travel spending for the foreseeable future. Read more

 

Photo Credit: The changing face of the luxury consumer has reemphasized the importance of having experiences over buying products. Mark Mitchell / Flickr