The demand for luxury travel saw a definite softening in the last quarter of 2008, but the players in this sector do not expect market growth to stop, just slow down.
This was the projection of 62 percent of the world leading luxury travel buyers and providers, captured in a survey conducted during the recent ILTM ’08 (International Luxury Travel Market) in Cannes. The industry has advanced by 10 percent year-on-year for the past five years, but was stopped on its tracks by the current financial crunch.
Respondents said they would combat recession by focusing on marketing and building the skills of front line staff; 77 percent said they would increase or maintain their marketing spend; 91 said they would increase or maintain their spend on staff training and development; 87 percent intended to dedicate marketing budget to opening up new markets, though 76 percent said they wouldn’t reduce their spend in traditional markets to do so.
Electronic channels is in the process of becoming increasingly significant, with 63 percent saying they would favour them above more traditional media. It was because these allowed a closer, more intimate relationship with consumers, whose decisions are influenced more and more by participation in online social networks. According to Christina Wood, ILTM exhibition director, “Networking is very much the name of the game.”
About 73 percent said they would seek to bring down operating costs but wouldn’t do so at the expense of staff.
For more on the research findings, visit www.reedexpo.co.uk.
Margie T Logarta