With luxury becoming easily accessible due to ever increasing affluence, especially in the booming Asia-Pacific, discerning travellers are looking for new ways to enhance their journeys.
“Experiences are the new status symbol,” says Rosemarie Sama, chief executive and founder of Luxperience, summing up the next step to catering to this demand. “Since objects of desire are now more easily available to anyone who decides to splash out, people are looking for something more.”
Sama and her team are hoping providing that platform in wish fulfillment with their inaugural event on September 10 to 12 at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal. Their vision, she stressed, is to highlight “the evolution of luxury as being more than a physical object, where 300 thread count cottons and personalised customer service still play an important role, but where the opportunity to do out of the ordinary takes centre stage”.
One of the show’s key components, the Corporate Connection Programme, targets executive assistants, performance managers, reward and recognition programme managers, incentive managers as well as professionals responsible and booking high-end travel for individuals and companies wanting to meet off site.
Penny Rafferty, executive officer of Luxury Lodges of Australia and a Luxperience participant, told Business Traveller that Australia was well set up to cater to this discriminating hospitality sector. "There is today a critical mass of upscale accommodation – some in remote areas of the country – offering freedom, space and safety, and most of all, a connection with the place, that companies can consider for small corporate retreats or high-end incentives. Previously, this wasn't available, and people are starting to realise there are these small and intimate lodges where they can stay, do a bit of business and enjoy an experience in an environment where key service standards are still present."
Other Luxperience exhibitors likewise revealing their destination gems include New Zealand, Switzerland, Africa, the Seychelles, India and Thailand.
Attending the show are some 150 top international travel agents and wholesalers, 60 senior luxury travel consultants from Australia and another 150 corporate travel decision makers also from Australia.
In recent years, affluent Asian travellers, particularly the Chinese, have been reported as avid consumers of luxury travel experiences. Click here for our report on their habits.
For more details, visit www.luxperience.com.au
Margie T Logarta