AIGO Bimonthly Newsletter – Luxury Tourism

AIGO Bimonthly Newsletter – Luxury Tourism

15 April 2021



Professional travel advisors interviewed by the annual Pulse of the Industry Survey by Strategic Vision are convinced that the progress of the vaccination campaign will soon lead to the restart of the luxury tourism industry.  A slight majority of them have already booked a trip in 2021 (53%), while another 41% is likely to do the same very soon. Their target is mostly an American or European destination (Florida, Italy, Mexico, Hawaii, France are the top choices), but also a strong interest in African and Asian long-haul trips emerged. Yacht rentals, private aviation and home rentals will be the most common forms of accommodation, showing a cautious approach that still avoids commercial flights, hotels and group activities.

Among the trends that will ignite the restart of luxury travel(successful vaccinations, open borders, no restrictions and quarantines for foreigners), ILTM highlights the central role of Millennials. This generation, which is now between 30 and 40 years old, is said to be available to travel and spend more than the average, being at the same time more open to destinations or experiences that are still not 100% safe (precondition for an older target). This doesn’t mean that Millennials will accept everything it’s offered to them: they are looking for unique experiences, digital services, sustainability.

After a year marked by travel restrictions, luxury travel is the segment that is expected to grow the most in 2021, as people will want to relax and compensate for the last difficult year. According to some major luxury travel agencies (Abercrombie & Kent, Carrier and Untold Story Travel), the most recurring request is the one for tailored trips, with the fewest flights possible and a slower pace to fully enjoy the whole experience. Luxury villas and yacht rentals are being preferred to the traditional 5-star hotels, to build a more unique experience and, at the same time avoid contact with other people. Smartworking is also a growing trend in the luxury industry, as more and more people are looking for luxury workations.


Even though the tourism industry in Italy lost as much as -74%, short luxury rentals only dropped back by 25%, according to an analysis by Emma Villas. Italy has over 2 million upscale villas and apartments, most of them in Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Emilia Romagna. 2020 saw over 2.200 bookings, for a grand total of 3.200 weeks.

Warren Buffett and other tycoons are investing in Italy, particularly in Sardinia, Como Lake and Tuscany. These three regions are seen as the perfect luxury destinations and will offer more experiences and exclusive accommodations once travel bans are lifted and luxury tourism can show its much expected growth.


20.000 km, 18 countries and 10 cities: that’s the roadmap of the new Bus to London, a luxury bus with hop-on/hop-off features that will leave Delhi for London travelling through Kyrgyzistan, Uzbekistan, China, Russia and others. The first trip is scheduled for May 2021 but the luxury of the bus and the few places available (20) for a really.. exclusive fare!

The new frontier of luxury tourism could be…outer space! A Houston company plans to lend its Aurora Station (a spaceship that’s 10×4 metres wide) to tourists and bring them into space by the end of 2021. There are only 4 seats available for each trip and ticket holders will have to undergo an intensive 3 month training in the company facilities for a 12 day trip.

The Principality of Monaco, a traditional luxury haven, has become a Featured Destination of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association for 2021, after becoming a member in 2015. According to the Monaco Government TOurist and COnvention Authority, this step forward towards inclusion will help make the country more “culturally diverse, inclusive, and welcoming”.

Few COVID cases, forced social distancing (being on islands) and an open-border policy since July 2020 are giving the Maldives optimistic views for the upcoming 2021 summer season. A new luxury package has been made available for incoming tourists: an “all you can stay” formula for 28 days, followed by shorter stays or workation specials.