The Future Laboratory report highlights global shifts in luxury and wellness hospitality

Wellness is given new importance in light of an estimated 54% drop in global luxury tourism


Global luxury tourism revenues fell by an estimated 54 per cent in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Europe bearing the brunt with a 36 per cent decrease, according to the 2021 Luxury & Hospitality Futures report from The Future Laboratory.

The report, which aims to future-proof organisations, offers consumer insight and trend forecasting across a wealth of industries including wellness, travel, luxury retail and real estate.

With the pandemic bringing health and wellbeing to the fore, demand for at-home fitness tech has risen, with leading interactive fitness platform Peloton reporting a 141 per cent increase in sales in March 2021.

“79 per cent of respondents to a global consumer survey said that they believe that wellness is in important, and 42 per cent consider it a top priority,” the report stated.

The report reflects a shift in the luxury real estate market

As well as changes in luxury travel, which switched its focus from global to local markets, the necessity to work from home led many wellness resorts offer extended package stays with access to office and study spaces.

The report also found that the luxury real estate market has also evolved as people confined to their houses during global lockdowns have carried out home upgrades or moved – a greater emphasis now being placed on the style of home and its location, with coastal and rural regions attracting the most attention.

City living has also changed, with luxurians seeking ‘safe-haven’ homes in places ‘offering secure yet culturally interesting lifestyles,’ while the global wellness real estate market is forecast to be worth £142bn.

Properties in coastal and rural locations are in higher demand since the pandemic began

One of the major upcoming trends identified in the survey is the concept of ‘regenerative travel’, a concept that offers a more tangible and measurable approach to sustainable travel.

However, Amanda Ho, co-founder of the eco-resort collective Regenerative Travel, said that the brand’s long-term mission is to avoid ‘regeneration’ becoming a buzzword.

“Sustainability is more associated with efficiency issues, but regeneration looks at everything from a whole systems perspective,” she told The Future Laboratory.

Measurable goals are all key, with responsible travel brand Intrepid Travel launching a series of targets in line with the Science Based Targets initiative and the UN’s Paris Climate Agreement.

Also on the rise is the concept of healing luxury, with brands incorporating ancient wellbeing practices to “recast luxury’s value proposition and imbue their products with greater meaning.”

For example, Vyrao, a unisex fragrance brand, offers scents intended to boost the wearer’s energy levels through ‘high vibrations’. Vyrao founder Yasmin Sewell worked with energist and healer Louise Mita to create the formulations, which have been described as spiritual and restorative.

Five States of Luxury

The report  also named its Five States of Luxury for 2021, a framework designed to assist brands and agencies to navigate their way through ‘the social and economic plains, foothills and valleys of the inter-Covid luxury landscape.”

“The Five States of Luxury are designed to help you understand, choose and develop fresh directions for your businesses and customers, providing key insights and inspiration to power your next steps,” said Kathryn Bishop, foresight editor at The Future Laboratory.

State one is omni-engagement, which shifts the focus from traditional luxury consumer experiences to greater high-energy engagement via omnichannel experiences. Luxurians expect to be able to access and engage with their favourite brands at any time of day and seek interaction tied to share experiences or content creation.

Invocation for Hope by Superflux reflects an increasing desire by luxurians leave a positive mark on the world

State two is eclectic connoisseurship, which sees a move away from privacy on purchases and experiences towards more overt demonstrations of connoisseurship.

State three is balance, whereby luxury discovery through augmented digital experiences is changing to a quest for deceleration, contemplation, intimacy and balance.

State four is resolution, which sees the pursuit of living well evolving into intent and resolution as luxurians seek to leave a positive mark on the world. This state emphasises how a pro-planet and socially responsible attitude is pervading luxury operations, goods and services.

The final state is exploration, advancing from sensory-led explorations to a desire to conquer new frontiers entirely. In this state, luxury experiences are not only scarce but hyper-personal. Blurring the lines between fantasy and physical capabilities, they require extensive freedom and capital, meaning some consumers will be the only people to own, feel or witness a moment in time.

Be informed...

To find out more about the contents of The Future Laboratory’s Luxury and Hospitality Report, click below

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