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The Skift New Luxury newsletter is our weekly newsletter focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.
We’ll keep in mind the needs of the specialist travel agents who sell these products as well as the sophisticated consumers who shop for them.
Malls and retailers in the U.S. are currently suffering, but high-end immersive shopping at airports is thriving. Part of it is the locked-in, secluded nature of the experience – you’re traveling, so it can’t be bad, right? – but the bigger part is that smart operators are taking what they know about consumer habits and combining this with technology to deliver an experience shoppers don’t get with land-side retail.
On the experience front, media companies are increasingly turning to travel to create a sense of community among their readers as well as to fill big revenue holes that advertising once occupied. But no matter their focus between the covers, the brands are choosing luxury packages for their readers in order to deliver a focused experience that will take them beyond the yearly subscription. – Jason Clampet, Editor-in-Chief
5 Looks at Luxury
Luxury airport retail is thriving, representing an opportunity for luxury retailers, airports, and marketers all seeking to capture the attention and spend of affluent global consumers.
Let’s start by looking at the numbers: Duty-free shopping is set to reach $64 billion in total revenue by 2020 and more than two-thirds of international travelers make purchases from duty-free stores. Approximately six percent of luxury shopping now takes place at airports, up four percent from last year.
For nearly two decades Cary Collier and Doug Chambers, the innovators behind international spa management and consultancy firm Blu Spas, Inc., have been involved with scores of spa projects for the likes of Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari, Rosewood, and other luxury brands.
Nowadays, any resort worth its mineral salt has a spa on property. Collier and Chambers offer advice on how to develop a spa that will stand out from the crowd and bring in significant revenue at the same time.
Among the biggest trends among China’s luxury travelers is the growing popularity of boutique hotels, according to new research presented by the Hurun Report’s Rupert Hoogewerf at ILTM Asia in Shanghai. With 60 percent of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) reporting that they spend over 3,000 RMB (US$441) per night when they stay at hotels, the future looks bright for luxury hotels catering to China’s growing number of high-end travelers.
While large luxury chain hotels remain dominant on the list of HNWIs’ preferred accommodation providers, the report finds that HNWIs now increasingly favor boutique hotels—a clear significant shift from the trend just a few years ago.
Affinity travel is an under-recognized part of the luxury travel spectrum. Alumni associations, non-profit organizations and cultural institutions often sell travel as a way to cultivate donors and to raise money. Recently, affinity travel has been bleeding into the journalism arena, which itself has been bleeding cash for years.
Teresa Stack is the former president of The Nation and founder of the publication’s educational travel programs. “Publishing is struggling in general,” says Stack. “Frankly, we largely developed the tour program to support the journalism. It’s not our number one source of revenue, but it’s a growing source.”
Luxury vehicles are entering the “third wave” of connectivity in which manufacturers invest in cloud-based technologies, environmentally-friendly models and smarter marketing techniques to win the loyalty of affluent drivers. And they’re in a good position to do so.
Luxury cars remained the top-performing segment of the luxury goods markets in 2016, growing 8 percent, according 2016 Bain Luxury Study by Bain & Company. An even greater 15.9 percent increase in sales was reported by JATO Statistics, which also stated a record 28,500 super luxury cars were sold in 2016.