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CLIENT EXPECTATIONS


Key to consumer attitudes may lie in other sectors, argues trends analyst


LUXURY TRAVEL businesses must take inspiration from innovations and trends occurring in other sectors if they are to flourish, a trends expert has urged. Victoria Loomes, senior trends


analyst at TrendWatching, told delegates at the ttgluxurySeminar that they should examine how businesses across various sectors cater to the changing attitudes and expectations of consumers to enable them to offer a more “cutting edge” product. “Knowing what your customer


wants next won’t come from just asking them – people don’t always know what they’re looking for until it appears,” said Loomes. “One of the best ways of tapping into where your customers’ needs are headed is to follow the work of other businesses, and that’s where you could find that nugget.” During her presentation, Loomes discussed a number of business ventures and campaigns that TrendWatching has been researching, exploring how they could be


that use artificial intelligence, machine learning and automated decisions; Post-Demographic Consumerism, in which consumers tear up the rule book of what’s expected of them based on age and background; and Digital Breadcrumbing, whereby digital music or image files are “tagged” to a particular location. “Many people go on holiday to


TrendWatching’s Victoria Loomes


implemented within the luxury travel marketplace in 2017. She also spoke of five overarching


trends that the industry could pay heed to when thinking of suitable market products: Premium Redeemed, in which consumers look for products and experiences created with a social conscience; Quintessential Self, in which consumers seek out companies to help with self-improvement; Beneficial Intelligence, whereby consumers embrace digital services


create and recreate memories that they want to save and share with friends and family,” she said. “This technology would be perfect for a hotel to use during a guest’s wedding anniversary or birthday.” Loomes said companies should


also be thinking of how they could “target a segment of one”. “How can you use technology to


tailor your marketing, products and services for a segment of one?” she asked, citing the case of Toyota creating personalised campaigns for Facebook users and luxury hotels which increasingly give guests the chance to customise their room via options on in-room tablets.


INDEPENDENT REVIEWS


Call for fair hotel ratings


LUXURY HOTELS must be subject to stringent, independent ratings in a world full of online consumer reviews, delegates heard. Forbes Travel Guide’s vice-


president of client services Chris Fradin said because of the rise of customer review sites such as TripAdvisor, it was vital that luxury properties were judged by an “independent and impartial” body such as Forbes. Fradin cited London’s five-star


stable of hotels as an example of how the range of ratings could affect luxury properties. According to Forbes Travel


Guide, the capital has just eight five-star properties, but when the term was searched across online rating sites, more than 30 venues were listed. “There is a lot of confusion


within the decision making process in terms of luxury travel,” Fradin said. “A lot of the time it is down to the perspective of the reviewer and really at this end of the marketplace one needs to be impartial.” Fradin also described how


went to Silicon Valley and saw the growing movement towards logging off and something that’s been called the digital Sabbath,” she said. Goodin described how she is


also advocating a “5:2 digital diet” (five days of digital use followed by two days’ abstinence) and driving a Phone Free Food movement, whereby mobile phones are banned around the dinner table and in some restaurants. “We survey our guests at the


end of their stay and the number one improvement is their amount of sleep,” Goodin added. “And their happiness levels rocket too.”


a property’s public rating was “just the tip of the iceberg” and how several other aspects including service, needed to be taken into account. “We need to look at


NEW LANDSCAPE: Travel sellers should be “an expert in their client” rather than being too destination focused, said Ed Burke (centre), founder of Seventy Ten Travel and Richard Dixon (right), founder of Holidaysplease, while John Licence of Autograph Collection (left), said hotels needed to focus on being as “individual” as possible.


trends and second guess what guests are looking for,” continued Fradin. “At the moment it’s all about ensuring that guests get the appropriate delivery of service for their property


and market.”


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