Skift Take

As luxury travel continues to democratize, brands that want to attract the super-wealthy need to come up with new and better strategies.

Series: New Luxury

Luxury Travel News

The Skift New Luxury column is our weekly column 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.

The changing nature of luxury travel has created something of an identity crisis within the high-end hospitality industry.

Old-school five-star properties are no longer suitable for the wealthy elite, who crave something different. We got a taste of the direction of travel from several speakers at Skift Global Forum last week.

Nihi Hotels CEO James McBride talked up the advantages of “wild luxury” at the company’s remote Indonesian resort, while the Four Seasons CEO warned about commoditization within the sector.

But perhaps the best example came from outside travel. Luxury goods manufacturer Hermès prides itself on a “very limited distribution strategy” in order to keep its products desirable.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @paddywhyte.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

8 Looks at Luxury

Four Seasons CEO to Suitors: Thanks, But No Thanks: As a large independent hotel company with a distinctive luxury brand, Four Seasons is always going to be a takeover target, but it sounds like it is more likely to be a buyer rather than a seller.

Why Hermès Makes It Tough to Find Its Products: Is there a brand out there with more cachet in the luxury world than Hermès? There’s a reason for it. The company manages expansion and inventory in a prudent way.

Luxury Travel Advisors Aim to Put the Person Back in Personalization: Luxury travel advisors can thrive with the help of tech, rather than fear it, according to Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso, and Jack Ezon, founder of Embark. Their claim makes intuitive sense.

Ian Schrager on How Hotels Get Technology Wrong: The hospitality industry shouldn’t forget its humanity, while continuing to innovate — just in a sensible and appropriate way. Strong message.

Luxury Brands Launch College Tours to Meet Maturing Gen Z: Creating customized college packages is smart for several reasons. Parents are happy to pay for a less stressful experience and young affluent teens become comfortable with a brand during a critical and memorable moment, leading the way for future business.

Leading Hotels of the World Revamps Its Loyalty Program: Leading Hotels is taking a traditional, yet also somewhat contrarian approach to hotel loyalty — but will it pay off for its independent hotel members?

Grand Prix Near Victoria Falls Stirs Opposition From Southern Africa Tourism Execs: The proposed Grand Prix in Zimbabwe near Victoria Falls is either a bold and ambitious vision for the future, or hubristic folly that will ruin the local tourism industry. Are investors and developers for real with their plans for a Grand Prix circuit on the outskirts of Victoria Falls? We’ll see.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Focuses on Being Egalitarian Ahead of Olympics Spotlight: Empathy. When was the last time you heard a hotel executive talk about that? General manager Hervé Mazella shares his views on service, what makes the Park Hyatt Tokyo unique, and what he has learned from the Japanese approach to hospitality.


Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [[email protected]] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Tags: four seasons, hermes, hotels, luxury

Photo credit: A Hermès store. The company relies on a “very limited distribution strategy.” 306739

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