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Luxury trends in travel, fashion, food and technology

A new survey by Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) identifies the Maldives as the most popular luxury holiday destination, Chanel as the most popular luxury brand and a luxury holiday as the most desired luxury product, over cars, jewellery or clothing.

In a survey of SLH customers across the globe, Small Luxury Hotels of the World 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%), technology (62%) and food and drink (60%) sectors. The consumption of luxury health and beauty products has also increased but in a less significant manner overall (51%).

Russian respondents claim the greatest surge in the consumption of luxury products over the last five years with almost 90% indicating an increase across both the travel and food and drink sectors, and 80% in the technology sector.  Within the luxury health and beauty sector, a larger percentage of respondents from the emerging markets indicate a rise in the consumption of luxury health and beauty products (64% in Latin America, 64% in China and 86% in Russia).

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

In terms of favourite luxury holiday destinations, the Maldives achieves the top spot (13%), followed by Italian and French destinations (12% and 11% 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% and 23% 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% and 26%). Contrary to the norm, Canadian and Latin American respondents placed less emphasis on five star facilities and more emphasis on authentic experiences (39% and 36% 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%), something that is also important to the Chinese (27%) and the Latin Americans (22%). Brits and Americans place little emphasis on the need for a ‘home away from home’ (10% and 11% respectively), perhaps indicating that they are more at ease when it comes to dipping out of their daily routine. Personal service was also significant, particularly for Australian and American respondents, accounting for 26% and 24% respectively (compared to an average of 17%).

A secluded beach resort is most people’s idea of a luxury holiday, chosen by 43% of respondents. Beaches have less appeal for Latin Americans however with the majority opting for a state-of-the-art city centre hotel (36% compared to an average of 16%). Eco lodges are popular with respondents from the USA with almost a third (30%) choosing this as their preferred option compared to an average of 14%. 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% of respondents said that they would not be prepared to spend more than £2000 on a luxury weekend break.  55% of Chinese said that they would spend less than £1000 on a luxury weekend while at the other end of the scale, almost a third (30%) of Russian respondents said that they’d be willing to spend more than £2000 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% claiming that they would be happy to spend over £200 compared to an average of 43%.

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 Hermes, 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. With over 520 hotels worldwide in more than 70 countries, SLH strives to provide the best diversity and quality of hotels in the world. Its unrivalled portfolio offer guests authentic luxury experiences, from spas, country houses, golf resorts, island retreats, city sanctuaries, to game and wilderness lodges.

Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.