A recent survey from Small Luxury Hotels of the World, an exclusive group of over 520 global hotels in 70 countries, found that in the view of their clients, luxury travel was first on their list for consumption of luxury products, tied with technology. When asked to choose just one luxury item, a luxury holiday was the top choice.
But Small Luxury Hotels are not the only ones to believe that the luxury travel market is expanding. Commercial property brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle are reporting that resort property sales are on the increase. Through the end of August 2013, resort sales topped $2.4 billion, exceeding sales in all of 2011 and 2012 combined.
Investor Business Daily reports that hotel construction at midyear has experienced a year-over-year increase of 23 percent, with construction over the next twelve months expected to show a year-over-year increase of 36 percent.
And fashion brands are getting a piece of that growth, too. LVMH are dramatically increasing their market share in some of the most pristine locations in the world, while design houses such as Bulgari, Versace, and Armani have also ventured into hotel design and ownership.
But it is not only in luxury accommodation itself that the shift can be seen. British luxury fashion brand Burberry, for example, has just launched “Travel Tailoring” via a global digital campaign. The new menswear line includes suits with “innovative lightweight construction, lightweight shoulder construction,” and “naturally flexible fabrics,” according to the company. A “memory fabric” (100 percent merino wool) is designed to resist creasing. Intended for the luxury traveler on the go: suits start at $1,995, with blazers beginning at $1,295.
The London department store Harrod’s is also looking to cash in on the expanding luxury travel market. Burberry, Globe-Trotter, Mulberry and other luxury brands are featured in the retailer’s newly refurbished travel goods store, which includes over 40 premium luggage brands, some available only at Harrod’s. The travel department, occupying some 11,000 square feet of space, also boasts the most comprehensive TUMI shop in the world with an exclusive monogramming service. Merchandise in the new department is surrounded by a series of wall displays and large screens depicting the latest travel products.
Famed fashion brand Louis Vuitton is also going back to its roots in luxury luggage with the opening of pop-up store L’Aventure, just next door to its Paris showroom. Looking more like a posh travel agency than a retail store, L’Aventure has exclusive art, leather hammocks and vintage trunks set among a selection of men’s shoes, clothing and luggage. Louis Vuitton tapped Tyler Brûlé, head of the agency Winkreative and founder of Monocle magazine, to consult on the store.