by Peter J. Bates

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010 - 'A Year in Review' - Market Rebound, Growth, Opportunity & 'Editors of Travel'

For those of us whose lifeblood is in the luxury travel business, I’m sure you’ll join me in celebrating the rebound that is penetrating the market. I’m confident that 2010 is closing more positively than it began, and as we move forth in 2011, we must stay on a path of resurgence with verve and enthusiasm.

So, with the New Year on the horizon, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts, culled from my travels and discussions with tourism and hospitality professionals as well as those in the agent community.

1) As we know, luxury travel is rebounding – and with the economic recovery, the luxury travel market is becoming more experiential. When consumers spend money on a customized holiday, they want it to be more meaningful then ever before. That means delving deeper into a culture, a lifestyle, a true experience (such as art, spa/wellness, adventure and the like) so that a memorable travel journey with a ‘wow’ factor can be crafted for a customer.

2) The outlook for growth of business travel is positive as we move into 2011 and 2012 – but of course they’ll be challenges for corporate travel managers who’ll be faced with handling the dichotomy between rising air and hotel costs and the need to manage budgets, re-examine cost-control tactics, and increase business efficiencies. Companies are still tightening their purse strings on the corporate side, which makes leisure travel even more vital to the mix.