Luxury Travel, Lifestyle and Marketing Trends

African chic

Adventurers and in-the-know travelers have been beguiled by exotic Africa for centuries, but what is for sure is that Obama’s prominence and African origins will surely accelerate interest in African tourism, culture and style, and putting the continent firmly back on the chic list. It’s debatable whether the “O factor” will revive Hawaiian tourism the way Jimmy Carter did to Plains, Georgia or Bush to Crawford, Texas.

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Travel social networks taking off

Connecting travelers has been an ongoing theme over the past two years or so, as social media and private online communities have been bringing together like-minded travelers before, during and after their travels. SeaDream Yacht Club, Hyatt and American Express all use online communities to connect members, guests and passengers in advance of their travels and share “insider” experiences.

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Slashing prices? Just don’t reduce the luxury experience

In other times, a luxury product offering discounts risked tarnishing its image and cachet, traditionally a big no-no. But as the economies around the world continue to deteriorate, luxury retail and travel industries (cruise ships, tour operators, hotels, attractions, etc.) have resorted to slashing prices to merely stay afloat while continuing to market aggressively to build market share so that when the economy turns around, they’ll be in a stronger position than ever before.

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Museums breaking the mold

Spain might have set the trend for employing “starchitects” to design museums with the Guggenheim’s Bilbao outpost, but it seems that Paris is breaking the mold with its innovative museum marketing…

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Peer to Peer Camping

Camping, the most ancient form of holiday accommodation, has seen a resurgence. In tandem with the heady fortunes of 2007, last year we saw the height of glamping (glamorous camping), which featured four-poster beds, lavish bed linens and fluffly towels, as well as tents for lounging, gaming and reading. Guests could dine on regional high-end food and wines, then commune in the fresh air while enjoying reflexology, massage and other top spa treatments. The next iteration…

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Airport offerings evolve

Face it, flying these days can be only for the birds but airports around the world are offering fun and soothing options to make the travel experience a little less stressful. It used to be that the only way you could kill time at an airport before a flight was by eating fast food or drinking at a bar. Times have changed and nowadays you can indulge in a massage, mani/pedi or an oxygen session and even karaoke!

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Quirky hotels

If you thought it was adventurous to stay in an ice hotel, a castle in Europe or a tree house in the jungle of Belize, now you can take it a step further and stay in a hospital, a jail, a bank, a lighthouse and even a railcar.

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Fontainebleau: Luxury as a fantasy escape

This past weekend’s re-opening of the legendary Fontainebleau in Miami Beach invoked nostalgic images of style and glamour. One felt transported to other (better) times, in what I would call a “Great Escape” – a fantasy, which at the end of the day, is part of what travel is all about.

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