Top Luxury Travel Trends in 2020

This year, the hospitality and travel industry will continue to see the growth of existing trends and the emergence of some new trends in luxury travel. 

This largely stems from global travellers with a higher amount of disposable income seeking new and exciting ways to spend their holiday. Plus the Gen Z and millennial generations are coming of age and are now able to afford more affluent travel.

Many travel sites have different opinions about what is up-and-coming, so we’ve compiled some of the most common 2020 global travel trends in the luxury sector that we have seen across the web. 

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Go green or go home

Sustainable travel has been the number one hot topic in 2019 and will continue to be throughout 2020 for the travel and hospitality industry. This trend is not new, but given the extraordinary rise of Greta Thunberg and her environmental activism, many consumers have been inspired to ‘go green’ and as a result, businesses have been forced to adapt to these demands.

This has not only affected hotels and resorts but the entire travel industry. According to TravelPulse, a survey showed that 16% of Brits and 24% of Americans will fly less in 2020 due to the increase in ‘flight shaming’.  

Subsequently, what does this trend mean for hoteliers across the globe? In order to remain competitive in the luxury market, you will need to stay aware of the development of this particular trend. This also means that it should be incorporated more often into your advertising and communication, as it will be noticed, especially by millennials and the up and coming Gen Z explorers. 

Here are a few simple ideas to get you started on the path to a greener hotel:

– Replace complimentary toiletries with eco-friendly or biodegradable products

– Encourage guests to reuse linens and towels by educating them about how much water is used to replace them

– Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies

– Install water dispensers in your hotel to minimise plastic bottles

– Install LED lights throughout your hotel as well as motion sensory lights

Spa and wellness travel

Spa and wellness holidays are growing to be one of the most popular ways to travel in 2020 due to the recent popularity of mindfulness, meditation and a general desire to better oneself. 

Wellness travel can come in different forms – the most obvious being a spa or yoga retreat. However, hotels and resorts have found new and interesting ways to ride the wellness wave. These include an immersive nature experience, sleep aid clinics, nutrition support, spiritual experiences, therapy, digital detoxes and more.

This trend also greatly affects where people decide to travel, as some destinations have the reputation of having a relaxing atmosphere. Just some of these destinations include: 

– India

– Mexico

– Bali

– Italy

– Spain 

So, if your hotel happens to be in one of these destinations (or any similar), be sure to structure your marketing campaigns around your geographical location. Also, unlike sustainable travel, this trend shouldn’t be targeted to one age group over another. In fact, this is multigenerational and all age categories should be considered for your communications. 

The rise of the foodies 

In 2020, high-income travellers are letting their palate lead the way, with many guests deciding to stay in a luxury hotel or resort that can offer them a unique culinary experience. This is often because food is the most important part of a holiday, as it gives incredible insight into local culture and traditions. 

If your hotel has a well-known chef, or if you have won an AA Rosette or even a Michelin star, this should be shouted from the rooftops. Also, guests in 2020 tend to love eating local, so whenever possible, be sure to take advantage of local produce. This will not only go over well with guests, but it will also mean that you are taking a seasonal approach to your cuisine, making dishes tastier and ultimately, cheaper. 

One hotel in the Best Loved Hotels collection that does this exceptionally well is the Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa. They have managed to create a  memorable and award-winning gastronomic experience by serving flavoursome dishes inspired by a Creative Greek Cuisine concept of philosophy and by using exquisite food products from around Greece.

Personalisation is key

When a guest decides to spend money on a luxury hotel or resort, they expect nothing less than perfection during their stay. Over time, this means that hotels have had to invent new and interesting ways to achieve this perfection and avoid the dreaded negative online review. As a result, the expected level of perfection has risen quite high in 2020. 

One way to combat this is various forms of personalisation throughout the guests stay. This has become a trend with luxury and boutique hotels across the globe to help their guests feel more at home and catered to.  

There are a few interesting ways you can incorporate personalisation during your guests stay. These include: 

  1. A handwritten note either welcoming them (for their first stay) or welcoming them back (for a repeat booking) from the hotel manager. 
  2. Tailor customer requests across previous visits. For example, when a guest makes a repeat booking, check their profile notes to see whether they asked for more pillows or linens, or even a particular newspaper. If so, make sure to pre-stock the room with previous special requests ahead of their arrival. 
  3. Track favourite food or drink orders for a repeat guest. For example, does the guest order a particular cocktail at the hotel bar? If so, be sure to offer this as a welcome back cocktail when they arrive. 
  4. Craft personalised bathrobes or slippers (using the guests initials) to offer each time they stay. This can be reserved for frequently returning guests at your hotel. 

Each of these gestures will go a long way when pleasing even the most discerning of guests. 

Taking advantage of these travel trends in 2020

At Best Loved Hotels, we represent a selection of the most unique and authentic independent luxury hotels worldwide and ensure they are growing their business in line with key industry trends. This is reflected in our hotel collections highlighting gourmet escapes, eco-friendly hotels, and spa and wellness retreat hotels. 

What is more, by providing quality distribution, representation, and marketing services, we help our members receive more bookings and increase revenue year on year. 

About Best Loved Hotels

Established in 1993, Best Loved Hotels is an internationally recognized global collection of curated hotels. We’ve spent the past 27 years building up a reputation within the luxury market for independently vetting our member hotels. It is this attention to detail that has made us a go-to resource for high net worth, discerning bookers who trust us to connect them to carefully selected unique, luxurious and character-filled independent accommodation.

To learn more about our programme benefits, take a look at our hotel joining fact sheet