5 luxury travel trends for delegates in 2019

Ultra personalisation and 'bucket-list' experiences will be key in the luxury travel segment of the events industry next year.

Travel in 2019 will be highly personalised and inspired by unusual experiences in new destinations, a report has found.

Clients are increasingly looking for a deeper level of personalisation and one-of-a-kind experiences, according to research from Virtuoso, a global luxury travel network of advisors and travel agencies in 50 countries.

From specific seat numbers on planes and hotel room numbers to particular rental car types, delegates are becoming are more vocal about precise preferences.

Clients want prearranged meals and appointments. But they are or not simply asking for restaurant reservations, but exact tables at in-demand hot spots as well as pre-ordering specific wine to accompany the meal.

They also want to book sessions with hairdressers, massage therapists and even tattoo artists.

The Luxe Report highlights five trends for 2019:

Motivation: The influence of social media is unmistakable, increasing the desire to find the most captivating backdrops and the best time of day for snapping images. Clients want on-site photography sessions to create Instagram-worthy content, including replicating shots they have seen online.

Transportation: Airlines with modern business and first-class cabins are a favourite, but on landing VIP airport arrival services that whisk delegates through customs are growing in demand. Requests are on the rise for private helicopter transfers to and from airports as well as from one city or resort island to another.

Accommodation: Experienced travellers who have seen it all want to stay in unconventional accommodation. It could be a treehouse to a monastery to an igloo in Norway, a tent in the Moroccan desert, the shores of the Red Sea, and even a bubble nestled in a natural setting so that guests can stargaze before drifting off to sleep.

Recreation: Delegates want bucket-list experiences. Sports fans are asking for tickets to major events such as the Olympics, Super Bowl and Wimbledon. Art aficionados want private tours of the Vatican after hours. Dedicated shoppers want appointments at high-end stores to purchase signature items. And music lovers want trips to summer festivals and concerts.

Conservation: There is a heightened interest in animal-related experiences, with requests for visits to animal protection facilities or to observe animals in the wild, such as whale watching and viewing rhinos at close range. Some want to interact with animals, like at the Giraffe House in Nairobi or dog sledding to the North Pole. But they are also concerned about animal welfare and want interactions that are both sensitive and sustainable

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