Top luxury trends for 2019 as presented at Luxury Gourmet Portugal Forum at the Palacio Hotel in Estoril, on the Lisbon coast.
Wild and out of reach trips
Holidays are getting more and more adventurous. In June last year, the Association of Specialist Tour Operators pulled together a curated list of the most out of reach destinations – the luxury travel market wants to do them in comfort. From Bhutan’s Northern Himalaya to the exotic Andaman Islands, the wilds of Knoydart Peninsula to the beauty of Shetland and Fair Isle, those looking for trips beyond the usual tourist hot spots are on the rise.
Nearly half (47%) of people surveyed by The Luxury Travel Fair said they are becoming more health-conscious as they get older, and pick holidays with this in mind – choosing to take trips which improve physical and mental wellbeing, such as yoga retreats, sporting activities and mindfulness camps.
A survey of nearly 5,000 readers of wellness and lifestyle website Well+Good found that 40% of respondents would rather go on a fitness retreat with a beloved instructor than head to a five-star resort.
Female power and wellness
More adventure travel for solo women, more retreats for women to heal emotionally, more that help women get their sexual wellness back, and resorts with more women-empowering beauty programs – the recent feminist wave has spurred this rise in tougher, more transformative wellness travel for women. But feminist climate or not, this trend is driven by one powerful fact: the sheer global growth in women’s spending power—with nearly all leading economic thinkers agreeing the economic future is female. From 2013–2023, the global incomes of women will explode from $13 trillion to $18 trillion. By 2028, women will control close to 75 percent of discretionary world spending.
On the move
Rather than sticking to one location, more and more holidaymakers are looking for trips where a key part of the time is spent travelling. However, 2019 is anticipated to be all about luxury travel with “an anticipated rise in luxury cruise and train travel” says Catherine Thake from The Luxury Travel Fair.
The solo traveller
Solo travel continues to be a trend to watch. In October 2018, British Airways released a survey which identified female solo travellers as a huge growth market. ABTA, the travel association, said 15% of travellers are choosing to holiday alone – up from 12% in 2017. Plus the likes of Cox and Kings, KE Travel and other tour operators are seeing great growth in packaging solo trips.
The immersive experience
From living like a local to dining and going behind the scenes on specialist tours — unique experiences are, increasingly, what people want.
For example Black Tomato is pushing Northern Italy and the Swiss Alps, as 2019 marks 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, while the Venice Biennale makes its return to the grand city. They say, ‘during the time of the show, our travel experts will arrange for guests to meet with local artists and curators, taking them around the show, imparting incredible local insight and knowledge.’ Or on their Egypt trips, guests gain privileged after-hours access to temples and tombs found in The Valley of the Queens in Luxor.
Minimalism makes way for maximalism
According to TTC Experts, it’s time to go big. For example, Scandinavian-inspired minimalism has been taking over Instagram feeds, restaurant interiors and our homes for more than two years now; first there was hygge with cosy, fur-covered, candlelit rooms, then came lagom with its pared-back ‘never too much’ sensibility. However, eclipsing the neutral tones and barely-there chic, maximalism is advancing to take minimalism’s crown for 2019. Maximalism is a celebration of pattern, colour and extravagance; with notable high street interiors partnerships from fashion houses including House of Hackney, Shrimps and William Morris, pattern is making its way into our homes.
Food tourism and destination dining
Always a hot trend, it continues to be key for luxury. From Four Season’s culinary tour by air, Belmond’s focus on gastronomy, and many destinations using food tourism as a cornerstone of their campaigns.
Where’s likely to be hot?
National Geographic Traveller UK’s Cool List focused on 19 destinations for 2019.
San Miguel de Allende