FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD – Will we ever get over overtourism?

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD – Will we ever get over overtourism?

  Overtourism: Everyone is talking about it. Everyone wants to do something about it. And nobody is going to stop traveling. So, what to do? One thing is for sure: In this hyper-connected, over-polarized, blame-happy era, the issue is not going away. Overtourism is more than the controversy du jour—in fact, I think it may become the defining issue of our time, along with the overlapping issue of sustainability. And while many of us deal mostly with the higher end of the market, we can’t kid ourselves that it’s a mass travel issue that doesn’t affect us. Travelers are impacted by the crowds on the Spanish Steps whether they’re staying at the Hassler or the hostel. Nor is the problem limited to large cities. Overtourism is to blame when Barcelona…
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The Economy: How Worried Should We Be?

The Economy: How Worried Should We Be?

As fall gets into full swing and we start planning for 2020, I know that many of us are feeling the winds of uncertainty about the economic outlook—for the travel industry and for the world at large. Political instability in the U.S., Brexit, trade wars, the Hong Kong protests, the collapse of Thomas Cook—those and many other factors are contributing to a sense of trepidation, tingeing whatever optimism we may have about future bookings. The guarded mood reminded me of a speech given recently by the celebrated British economist Gerard Lyons . The talk, which was presented at an Accor-sponsored event for travel industry thought leaders, was sanguine about the various challenges faced by the global economy. But it also stressed the many positive underlying factors that should reassure those…
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Making Peace with Wellness

Making Peace with Wellness

Wellness may be the biggest buzzword in our industry since experiences—and with at least as many different definitions. Everyone seems to be clamoring to capture a piece of the wellness pie, whose ingredients include fitness, spa, nutrition, spirituality, mindfulness, meditation, sustainability—you name it! The Global Wellness Institute uses a similarly broad definition to size the “global wellness economy” at $4.2 trillion in 2017—with “wellness tourism” accounting for $639 billion of that.  Yoga at Six Senses However you define it, there is no doubt that wellness is on the minds of travel consumers, particularly the luxury market. I asked YouGov, whose annual Affluent Perspective Global Study provides a detailed, deeply personal picture of the lives and lifestyles of the global affluent—the top 10% or higher of households in 26 countries—to look…
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What Does The Travel Industry Have To Be Proud Of?

What Does The Travel Industry Have To Be Proud Of?

New York City is hosting WorldPride next month, an international celebration timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which marked the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement. The city is expecting three million visitors to join the festivities. That’s an astonishing number for those of us in the industry who remember when “gay travel” was just an oft-ignored niche. Today, the annual value of total spending by LGBT travelers is estimated to be north of $200 billion, according to Out Now Consulting. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com That purchasing power is set to grow even higher. A 2018 study by Kantar Consulting and Hornet showed that while 8% of baby boomers identify as LGBTQI+, a whopping 31% of Centennials, aka Generation Z, locate themselves somewhere along that spectrum. (The QI+ part…
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A Collection of Thoughts on Hotel Collections

A Collection of Thoughts on Hotel Collections

You may have seen the news in January that Ted Teng will soon be stepping down as President and CEO of Leading Hotels of the World. Most of you share my high regard for Ted, who ran LHW for 10 years. Interestingly, his departure was announced around six months after Filip Boyen left rival Small Luxury Hotels of the World; Boyen, in turn, was replaced by Jean-François Ferret, who came from Relais & Châteaux, yet another independent hotel collection. All this executive shuffling got me thinking about the role these collections—which also include Preferred Hotels & Resorts—play in the luxury travel industry today. All of them were established in the pre-Internet era to provide…
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A Snapshot of the Australian Luxury Traveller in 2019

A Snapshot of the Australian Luxury Traveller in 2019

Today in Sydney, we launched the Australian Luxury Traveller 2019 study by Goldman Group – the biggest Virtuoso agency in Australia. The study was completed over the past three months by Strategic Vision in association with AccorHotels. We are pleased to provide the press release and survey results here. New destinations, heritage sites, gourmet food…and value for money - discover what the luxury traveller wants in 2019 A new survey has revealed intriguing insights into the globetrotting habits of Australia’s luxury travellers, including their passion for discovering unique experiences, their willingness to travel to far-flung locations and their spending habits in pursuit of the perfect getaway. The survey, conducted by the Goldman Group - Australia’s premier luxury travel advisory group, in partnership with AccorHotels, also underlined the close partnership between…
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Top Luxury Travel Advisors Expect a Boom Year in 2019

Top Luxury Travel Advisors Expect a Boom Year in 2019

Increased wealth, interest in new experiences, and inspiration from social media outweigh concerns about economic headwinds and world events in Strategic Vision’s 2019 Pulse of the Industry Survey A survey of the top luxury travel management firms in the United States reveals surging optimism about the state of the industry heading into 2019. In its annual Pulse of the Industry Survey, global marketing communications firm Strategic Vision reports that 44% of companies surveyed say their clients are optimistic about international travel, with 54% optimistic about domestic travel. That’s a big leap from last year’s numbers of 19% for international travel and 29% for domestic travel. Only 16% of advisors said their clients were feeling cautious about international travel in this year’s survey. For most of the surveyed firms—which plan and…
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