SLH reveals luxury travel trends: Maldives tops luxury destinations

Naladhu – The Maldives is the most popular luxury holiday destination, Chanel is the most popular luxury brand and a luxury holiday is the most desired luxury product, over cars, jewellery or clothing, according to a new survey on luxury travel trends.

The survey, carried out by Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), reveals significant trends in the luxury sector, highlighting luxury travel habits and favourite luxury travel brands, as well as how the consumption of luxury has changed over the last five years.

The consumption of luxury
Of those surveyed, the large majority of respondents reported that over the last five years, their consumption of luxury products has risen most significantly in the travel (62 per cent), technology (62 per cent) and food and drink (60  per cent) sectors. The consumption of luxury health and beauty products has also increased but in a less significant manner overall (51 per cent).

Russian respondents claim the greatest surge in the consumption of luxury products over the last five years with almost 90 per cent indicating an increase across both the travel and food and drink sectors, and 80 per cent in the technology sector.

Luxury tourism
When asked to choose just one luxury item, the most popular choice was a luxury holiday (42 per cent), followed by a memorable experience (40 per cent), highlighting the preference for experiences over other tangible luxury items such as cars, jewellery and clothing. Canada was an exception with 58 per cent of Canadian respondents choosing a luxury car.

In terms of favourite luxury holiday destinations, the Maldives achieves the top spot (13 per cent), followed by Italian and French destinations (12 per cent and 11 per cent respectively). The USA and Canada were the only source markets where the Maldives did not feature in the top three luxury destinations, with both markets favouring European destinations, and in particular France (22 per cent and 23 per cent respectively for the USA and Canada).

When identifying the most important elements of a luxury holiday, five star facilities and authentic experiences were the most popular choices (28 per cent and 26 per cent).  Contrary to the norm, Canadian and Latin American respondents placed less emphasis on five star facilities and more emphasis on authentic experiences (39 per cent and 36 per cent respectively), but Brits showed that it might not necessarily be all about understated luxury with the greatest number of respondents opting for five star facilities over any other element.

Of note, German respondents favoured ‘a home away from home’ as the most important factor when choosing a luxury hotel (30 per cent), something that is also important to the Chinese (27 per cent) and the Latin Americans (22 per cent).

A secluded beach resort is most people’s idea of a luxury holiday, chosen by 43 per cent of respondents. Beaches have less appeal for Latin Americans however with the majority opting for a state-of-the-art city centre hotel (36 per cent compared to an average of 16 per cent).

Eco lodges are popular with respondents from the USA with almost a third (30 per cent) choosing this as their preferred option compared to an average of 14 per cent. Those from France, Germany and the UK also showed a fondness for country mansions whilst the Chinese and Russian showed an above average preference for spa and wellness resorts.

In terms of expenditure on luxury travel, 84 per cent of respondents said that they would not be prepared to spend more than £2,000 on a luxury weekend break. 55 per cent of Chinese said that they would spend less than £1,000 on a luxury weekend while at the other end of the scale, almost a third (30 per cent) of Russian respondents said that they’d be willing to spend more than £2,000 on a luxury weekend break.

The French demonstrated a greater willingness to part with a greater sum for a luxury dining experience for two with 63 per cent claiming that they would be happy to spend over £200 compared to an average of 43 per cent.

Favourite luxury brands
When asked to specify their favourite luxury brands, France and the UK stayed loyal to their home nations with the UK opting for Mulberry as their top luxury brand and France opting for Hermés, followed by Louis Vuitton.

Overall, French brands topped the list with Chanel identified as the favourite luxury brand across the board.
The survey was conducted in August 2013 and completed by over 800 SLH customers across the globe with the objective of identifying the luxury habits and desires of SLH customers.  SLH has 520 hotels worldwide in more than 70 countries.

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