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.

Chinese tourists maintained their top spot on the global spending list, splashing $258 billion on outbound travel in 2017. To put that in some perspective, it’s almost double what the United States, the second-placed country, spent.

And as China gets richer, the middle and upper classes will grow too with the cumulative effect being more people will have more money to spend on vacations.

Luxury hoteliers have cottoned on to this, and are now starting to think more about how they can appeal to a Chinese traveler. And one of the ways they are trying to do this is through the use of designer-branded hotels (think Bvlgari and Versace). It’s a pretty straightforward way of communicating to guests what kind of hotel they’ll be staying at, a sort of shorthand for luxury.

And as the Chinese market gets bigger, it’s a trend that is only going to continue.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at pw@skift.com or tweet me @paddywhyte.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

5 Looks at Luxury

Luxury Fashion Designer Hotels Aim to Exceed Chinese Expectations: The future of luxury can be said to sit at the intersection of luxury and fashion, which is particularly true for Chinese consumers, for whom brands and status still drive purchase decisions.

When Exclusivity Feels Familiar, Soho House Looks to Another Club: Wall Street: As Soho House considers plans to go public, there’s a lot of competition on the horizon at every turn. This — plus the inevitable struggle to balance aggressive growth versus exclusivity, and a less-than-stellar customer experience — presents some problems on the horizon.

Travel Could Gain From Apple’s Augmented Reality Push: Of all travel companies, TripAdvisor has the most to gain by taking advantage of the expanding augmented reality functionality of iPhones and other devices. Overlaying rich hotel and restaurant reviews on real-world scenes could be widely popular. Will it act?

Why the Internet Didn’t Kill Off Travel Agents: The travel agent still exists for a reason. Despite having the option, plenty of people don’t want to do it on their own, and are happy to get someone else to make plans — even if it costs more.

This Coastal Region Is Primed to Become Mexico’s Next Big Luxury Tourism Spot: Truth be told, Mexico tourism officials have been promoting Riviera Nayarit as the country’s next big tourism destination for at least the past decade. But it looks like, finally, that hard work is beginning to pay off.

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Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [pw@skift.com] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Photo Credit: The Versace Home Store in the Palazzo Versace Dubai. Palazzo Versace Dubai