Here’s what travel experts revealed in a recent travel industry webinar
- Rich travellers will be the first to take their holidays – on private jets and yachts.
- Luxury holidays will be the first to get booked up as they already offer social distancing and exclusivity.
- The new buzz words of the travel industry will bubbles, cleanliness, and ‘privacy, privacy privacy’!
Safety and trust will be the new luxury!
Mark Ellwood, contributing editor at Conde Nast Traveler
“If you look at private travel there’s lots of things happening.
“Private jet destinations are going to be some of the first that open up because they have a very easy way of people to get there. There was a package, which was recently launched which was jet to yacht, where people arranged a plane to Malta, take you to the yacht in Malta and then you can sail around the Med.
“We are looking at Mustique getting private charters to go from London every weekend in June and July so its private jet audience can get there.
“There’s a very high-end safari company called Roar Africa that’s doing a safari next year which will be $60,000 (£47,000) a person. It’s fully sustainable. There’s no problem with the fact that it’s a private jet. But it tells you, you’ll be in a bubble.
“We’re seeing air pooling, which is essentially families that might consider flying private occasionally, bundling together and saying we’ll travel together because it’s affordable for our two families who have been in quarantine to travel on this jet.
“Private jets are going to be cheaper in 2020 than they have ever been. So I would expect Q4 (4th quarter) to be a time when more people travel on private jets than you could have thought was possible because they’re clubbing together, because it’s a bit cheaper [thanks to a lower tax in America] because they are doing one trip not four but it’s private, private, private.”
Melanie Brandman, founder and ceo of Brandman Agency
“Luxury travel is really naturally socially distant, which is likely the reason the that luxury industry will bounce back sooner: luxury resorts, large space, fewer rooms, more private villas.
“I think travel agents are the industry’s original influencers and I believe that [we] will see [their] value amplified in post-covid. Travel agents are going to become more trusted than ever as their influence over where people go, where they stay. I think people have overlooked that.”
Misty Ewing Belles, managing director at Virtuoso
“[Regarding hygiene] You run the risk of cleanliness being the new marble bathroom for hotels, where they lead with that. There are some people who trust that if it’s a luxury hotel that it is clean – that it is sanitised, that it is well taken care of – but you have other travellers who want to pull back the curtain on that and cleaning used to be a back of house concept and it’s now front of house.
“I think we are seeing that the ‘exclusive use’ is going to carry us forward. Villas as well, we are seeing villas doing really, really, well. An interesting part of that is they are not asking for a fully staffed villa. So they are still wanting to limit the number of people coming in – so housekeeping not coming in as frequently, not having the personal chef there, not having some of the other staff with them.
The other thing I think we are going to see is multi-family trips like that. And so because people have been social distancing, they have not been able to be together as a family, and so you are going to see that ‘exclusive use’ coming up because you have multiple families travelling together. Multi-family will be the new multi-gen will be my prediction there.”