REVEALED: Luxury travel trends

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A new survey from Small Luxury Hotels of the World has revealed the latest luxury travel trends influencing guests worldwide.

After questioning more than 13,000 travellers, noticeable habits included guests preferring free WiFi over the traditional breakfast and how the addition of a coffee machine in a bedroom is a welcome treat for many.

Italy reigns supreme
According to the results, the most luxurious holiday destination this year is Italy. Thirteen per cent of respondents specified Italy and destinations within Italy as their favourite location. France closely followed with 11% of the vote and the Maldives taking third with 8%.

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Travellers from Australia, Latin America and the USA all opted for Paris as their preferred holiday destination, making it the stand out luxury city.

Little added extras
When picking their favourite in-room accessory, 58% of those surveyed opted for a Nespresso or other coffee machine, followed by an iPod docking system with 22.8% of the vote. In the mini-bar, flying the flag for soft drinks was Coca-Cola, a popular brand across the world. UK respondents voted for Bombay Sapphire as their favourite mini-bar tipple, while the Australians opted for Moët & Chandon.

Wine, beer and champagne were king across all markets, with the exception of Germany, where the majority of participants (38.7%) chose soft drinks over spirits, snacks, wine, beer and Champagne.
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A Michelin-star restaurant proved more popular than a rooftop bar in the findings, but it was a hotly contested race, with a score of 51.5% vs 48.5%. Across all markets, a knowledgable hotel guide or concierge was chosen over in-room destination guides and adult-only establishments proved more popular than those which were child-friendly.

Technology takes a back seat
Modern technology continues to be a hot topic among hoteliers, so it’s no surprise that when it came to booking a hotel, the majority of respondents would be more persuaded by the option of free WiFi over a complimentary breakfast offering. Participants from the UK and German bucked this trend however, preferring the idea of a free fry-up over WiFi.

Luxurious charm
When it came to picking a hotel, the research found that the most important characteristic to influence a booking decision was whether the establishment had an air of ‘character/charm’, which was selected by 59.6% of respondents. This was followed by five-star facilities with 28% of the vote. Respondents from China and Hong Kong however opted for ‘personal experiences’ as their second most important attribute, while Russian and German respondents chose ‘privacy/intimacy’.

A dog’s life
When it came to luxury travel with pets, 7.3% of those surveryed said that they would travel with their pet whenever possible. Only 15.1% said they’d be willing to pay extra for their pets to be pampered with a five-star treatment, such as luxury bedding (14.1%) and food (11.2%) and pet grooming (7.9%).

When asked what luxuries their pet might enjoy at a luxury hotel, the responses were varied with one Chinese dog lover suggesting ‘pata negra ham and caviar’.

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