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Did COVID Permanently Change Luxury Travel?
Even as COVID has closed travel down, conventional wisdom has been saying the pandemic is increasing demand for many of the key elements we associate with luxury travel: more space, more privacy, and fewer people. But there may be more to it than travelers simply being willing to spend a little more for increased peace of mind.
“COVID has reminded people that travel is a gift,” claims Michelle Palma, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ Canadian President. “They’re recalling how precious travel is and how easily it can be taken away.”
“Travel has been ‘reset’ by COVID,” agrees her colleague Brad Ford, President of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold Canada, “Priorities have shifted - those who want to travel are looking for meaningful experiences – sustainability, personal connection, also a connection to the community, the planet, wildlife.”
Stephanie Bishop, Managing Director for Globus Canada agrees. “Luxury is subjective. It’s not always about more money, it’s about being able to have the experience you really value.”
She points out that when it comes to fulfilling bucket list experiences, where you’re “putting your dreams at the forefront”, pricing drops in importance.
Palma agrees. “People booking new travel are not waiting to book the big ticket items – they want them now.”
“Luxury is about more than the trip,” says Lucy Viera, Vice President of Away by TTI Travel, “It is the luxury of the experience; from the initial call to the advisor, to the collaborative planning and design of the trip, to the post trip follow up; the luxury traveller appreciates this process.”
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