The needs and wants of luxury travelers have evolved dramatically in recent years, which means the services looking to reach them need to offer a fully vetted, curated, and unique experience — this is especially true of sharing economy services.
Luxury travelers today have higher expectations than ever before. While a sumptuous hotel, spa service, and fine wine with dinner used to be enough to satisfy high-end globetrotters, one-size-fits-all luxury vacation packages are now losing out to smooth, personalized, and unique travel experiences. These travelers also want to be guaranteed that the properties they’re booking live up to their expectations and that support will be available to them as they make their way through the world.
Where luxury travelers may have previously been happy with a boat ride followed by lunch in a harborside restaurant, they now may prefer a boat trip to a private island, complemented by a picnic lunch of local, artisan products, or a fishing expedition led by a local fisherman, with the fish they catch later grilled to perfection for dinner by the best chef in town. And while they’re looking for one-of-a-kind experiences, they also want these experiences to be ready and waiting, without the need to haggle, problem-solve, or settle up.
From booking to returning back home, luxury travelers want seamlessness throughout every step of the travel journey — they want one contact person who can curate precisely what they envision and keep the details on track throughout the trip. The value of this kind of high-touch, customized service is evident to those who are looking for experiences that transcend the mundane. They see that specialists can offer fresh and personalized ideas and exclusive access, save time and aggravation, and prevent unforeseen difficulties. They see that concierge services can smooth out details and troubleshoot hiccups.
Now that the sharing economy is coming into its own, the options for end-to-end luxury planning have never been more robust. Luxury Retreats, part of the Airbnb family, is raising the standard in this space by offering high-end, vetted properties paired with a 24/7 concierge service. All of the 4,000-plus properties were handpicked by the portfolio team through trusted partners on-site. Once selected, the homes go through Luxury Retreats’ rigorous 240-point Quality Inspection Plan. With a strict 5 percent acceptance rate, the homes listed can provide the security and reliability that today’s affluent travelers expect.
Luxury Retreats also gives intensive attention to guests’ on-the-ground experience by offering a 24/7 concierge service that provides assistance on anything guests need throughout their stay in a property booked through the site.
The sharing economy offers alternatives travelers might have difficulty accessing otherwise, such as renting an exclusive, fully staffed villa in a choice location or renting out an entire ski resort. Pairing these rental choices with seamless concierge services ensures that travelers get the amenities, equipment, excursions, and support they need when they need it, without a single snag. This streamlined, full-surround style of travel combined with the option to rent large luxury properties can be particularly appropriate for groups such as honeymoons, corporate retreats, and family reunions.
With luxury travelers increasingly concerned with having well-run, distinctive experiences, boutique agents can excel by providing thoughtful, thorough planning through a single point of contact. Partnering with a sharing-economy provider focused on high-end experiences, such as Luxury Retreats, can help agents provide incredible, memorable, hassle-free travel — the ideal way to satisfy the most discerning high-end clients.
To learn more about the end-to-end luxury services offered by Luxury Retreats and to sign up for their travel partner newsletter, visit luxuryretreats.com/travel-agent.
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