TORONTO — Vision Travel advisors attending the recent International Luxury Travel Market conference say they’re seeing increased demand for luxury travel, longer and higher-end trips as well as immersive experiences.
Ariane Henry, a Vision luxury travel advisor and cruise specialist based in Richmond, B.C., says 95% of her clientele are looking for luxury travel experiences. “My clients are clearly showing confidence and trust in the high standards and protocols offered by this calibre of suppliers. I truly believe luxury travel will be 100% more in demand,” she said.
Henry added that her clients are looking for longer, more immersive and experiential vacations, and are asking to spend more time in destination.
She sees her role as a travel advisor evolving: “I am now a true travel advisor rather than an order processor. I’m finding my clients are very much relying on my advice and leaving decisions up to me. They’re simply not comfortable navigating the restrictions any more.”
The International Luxury Travel Market conference took place Sept. 20 – 23 at the Fairmont Mayakoba resort. The conference attracted 650 attendees, including exhibitors and buyers/travel advisors from 50 countries. “The opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers from Turkey, Colombia, Malta, and more has been wonderful,” said Henry.
Joelle Goldman, Vice President, Host Services for Direct Travel (and its Canadian leisure brand Vision), was also at the conference, happy to be in Mexico and noting that many of the attendees, already acquainted through past dealings, were happy to be meeting again in person. “The enthusiasm for luxury travel is palpable,” said Goldman.
Vision/Direct’s emphasis on luxury travel is becoming more focused as clients express the desire for more ‘bucket list’ and exotic experience, said Goldman.
“All signs indicate that luxury travel is experiencing a boom – certainly that’s what we are seeing at Vision,” she added. “Of our top five suppliers booked this past year, four are in the luxury space.”
Also at the conference was senior luxury travel consultant Pat Tsatoumas, based in Montreal. “This is my third year attending and I’ve found my meetings with hoteliers including Fairmont, Ritz Carlton and SLS very informative. I’m now especially intrigued by the luxury options for visitors to Mexico City and plan to recommend it to my clients,” said Tsatoumas.