Luxury Travelers Are Ready to Get Back on the Road in 2021 — a Potential Comeback Driven By Vaccines and Pent-Up Demand

Luxury Travelers Are Ready to Get Back on the Road in 2021 — a Potential Comeback Driven By Vaccines and Pent-Up Demand

More optimists than pessimists in Strategic Vision’s 2021 Pulse of the Industry Survey, which measured the post-pandemic travel outlook of both luxury travelers and travel advisors. Trending this year: Europe, safaris, domestic trips. Cruises and staycations? Not so much.  A new study of consumers and professional travel advisors shows a net positive outlook for the luxury travel industry in 2021. Slightly more consumers feel optimistic about their leisure travel plans for this year than pessimistic, and luxury travel advisors see their business returning, albeit slowly, in 2021. The affluent consumers in the survey, conducted by Strategic Vision, a consultancy specializing in the luxury travel and lifestyle industries, are intently focused on how they can get back on the road, as well as when and where. And they have retained their…
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We Are Living in an Age of Anxiety…

We Are Living in an Age of Anxiety…

To say that we are navigating an uncertain world is a huge understatement. The pandemic, the economy, the American election, the future of our great industry — are all causing substantial confusion, anxiety, and stress. While we are all focused on figuring out what might happen next and how to deal with it, one issue that I fear we are not paying enough attention to is mental health. Whether you are considering your workforce, your business partners, or your clients, emotional and psychological wellness is at risk. Studies are showing that the pandemic is having broad psychological repercussions. In a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation in mid-July, 53% of U.S. adults reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus — up…
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Black Travelers Matter: So why is our industry so damn white? (Part two)

Black Travelers Matter: So why is our industry so damn white? (Part two)

In my previous post, I wrote to you about the issues of racism and diversity and how the travel industry comes up short in multiple ways. I also shared insights and advice from experts I’ve spoken to. I’ve received a sizable number of responses so far. Most have been positive, thanking me for exploring the subject. Others have complained that I’ve waded into politics—however, I see this not as a political issue but as a business issue. Today, I focus on the subjects of marketing and operations, as well as the concept of “anti-racism,” and make the business case for why diversity matters.  If you missed the last post, you may read it here. What Message Does Your Advertising Send? Diversity in Marketing As Tyronne Stoudemire, Vice President of Global…
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Black Travelers Matter: So why is our industry so damn white?

Black Travelers Matter: So why is our industry so damn white?

The last time I wrote, in May, we were still trying to understand the short- and long-term effects of the global pandemic. We have learned quite a bit since, but with recovery faltering in many places, the overall outlook is still a bit cloudy. One thing I believe we’ve all learned is to expect the unexpected. But I’m writing now on a different topic. Among the many surprising things to have happened this year is how quickly the issue of race and diversity has burst into our collective consciousness. Of course, racial inequality and injustice have always been a concern, particularly for members of minority groups. But the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May and the protests that followed, first across the United States and then around…
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Talking Travel: How to Communicate to Consumers and Employees Right Now

Talking Travel: How to Communicate to Consumers and Employees Right Now

As I write this, the travel industry is beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. The recovery will be likely tentative at first, and focus on staycations, drives, and short-haul trips. But there are so many dependencies—transmission rates, social-distancing regulations, border closures—that it’s impossible to make meaningful predictions. I’m curious to hear when you anticipate business returning, where your forward bookings are concentrated, and when you may start to bring employees back. Meanwhile, in the here and now, things remain confusing. For every story about reopening there is another about the virus resurfacing. That makes it particularly challenging to communicate, both externally to consumers and internally to nurture company culture. These topics were on the agenda of a series of roundtable discussion with industry leaders that…
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My Take on Coronavirus: Why Now Is the Time to Keep Talking

My Take on Coronavirus: Why Now Is the Time to Keep Talking

What a difference a month makes. Just a few weeks ago, I sent you the results of our annual Pulse of the Industry Survey, reflecting a mostly sunny outlook for 2020. Most respondents forecasted continued growth in revenue and bookings, their optimism quashing any concerns about terrorism, natural disasters, or economic uncertainty. But then Wuhan sneezed, and the rest of the world started catching cold. I don’t have to tell you about the major disruptions that coronavirus has already caused in our business. The real questions are: How bad will things get? And what do we do to get through? I’m afraid none of us can answer the first question, which depends largely on the speed and lethality of the virus as it spreads around the world. The initial analyses…
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Luxury Travel Will Continue to Surge in 2020, Say Top Industry Executives

Luxury Travel Will Continue to Surge in 2020, Say Top Industry Executives

A strong economy prevails over concerns about global instability, according to Strategic Vision’s 2020 Pulse of the Industry Survey. At the same time, travelers have become more conscious of their impact on the places they visit. Political and economic instability are no match for the insatiable drive to travel, according to a recent survey of top luxury travel executives, who predict yet another banner year for the segment. In its annual Pulse of the Industry Survey, travel consultancy Strategic Vision reports that 70% of respondents forecast an increase in revenues in 2020, while 50% described their clients’ attitudes as “optimistic” about both domestic and international travel. That positive sentiment largely overrides concerns about potential disruptors such as natural disasters, political unrest, and economic hiccups from Brexit or trade disputes. Luxury…
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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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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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