Luxury travel brands may see a customer looking for a deeper experience when travel picks up after the pandemic. They will be there to serve.
Skift Forum Europe is here and we're excited! We have a jam-packed agenda that includes keynote presentations, panels, and brand talks with an array of travel leaders as we explore the future of travel leading out of the pandemic.
As luxury travelers begin to come back to make trips again in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, they may begin to seek experiences that are deeper and more exceptional than in years past.
For Skift Forum Europe on Tuesday, Arnaud Champenois, senior vice president, brand and marketing at Belmond, and Tom Marchant, owner and co-founder of Black Tomato Group, spoke with Skift President Carolyn Kremins about the how the luxury travel experience could change after the current health crisis.
Champenois said that people in the future may travel less often, but for a longer period of time, and may “want each trip to be only the exceptional.”
Marchant, answering a question from Kremins about how luxury travel could look in 2025, said that he thinks it will be about a sense of connection.
He said people will “go and find deep sense of connections with places” but also thinks that familiarity will be key.
This will be important for travel companies to consider as they service their customers. Marchant’s company, Black Tomato, is a travel company that delivers unique tailored experiences around the world.
Belmond, which is a hospitality and leisure company acquired by LVMH last April, operates travel experiences including hotels, trains, and river cruises. Champenois spoke about the importance of social media in engagement and highlighted Instagram.
Kremins also brought up the travel situation in Cambodia, where inbound travelers are required to place a $3,000 deposit to cover any coronavirus related expenses and even their funeral.
Marchant said that he thinks the deposit will have an impact on tourism there but also pointed out that tourism is important to Cambodia, and he knows it’s a decision they would not take lightly.
Even with some restrictions in place, luxury brands should have the opportunity to attract travelers. Both Champenois and Marchant see a desire from affluent customers to start traveling again.
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Photo credit: Executives hope luxury travelers will soon return to Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy, but under different rules. Belmond