The origin of the word “luxury” dates back to the mid-17th century and comes from the Latin word “ luxus ”, which means “excess”. The concept of luxury tourism in today’s world fits perfectly with its original meaning, since it could be described as “excess tourism”.

Luxury tourism has always had its own share in the overall tourism sector since ancient times, but it has become very widespread, especially in recent years, due to high competition, new consumer behavior and technological progress.

One of the main topics of debate in tourism is about its concepts and definitions. From the economic perspective, the terms and concepts should be defined clearly and objectively; however, the cultural and social perspective of tourist phenomena does not always allow it to be done. As a result, tourism stakeholders have to deal with changing definitions of concepts and act accordingly, making the tourism industry unique, even more challenging and at the same time the most in demand.

Luxury tourism has many definitions proposed by industry leaders and academics, however, economic measurement criteria requirements create a notion of a need for a clearer definition of luxury tourism.

Although simply by browsing this large number of luxury tourist experiences you can get the idea of ​​what this term encompasses, we will break it down below.

Case: Abercrombie & Kent (A&K)

Abercrombie & Kent, one of the UK’s leaders in luxury tourism, promotes itself as offering ‘unique and recognized service at invaluable value…providing an unrivaled on-the-ground experience’.

Regarding the market pricing strategy, Abercrombie & Kent, despite serving luxury niche markets, has special offers for its clients and discounts for members of its loyalty programs such as the A&F Loyalty Club. or “A&F Club.”

It positions itself with its A&K brand at every possible service opportunity related to luxury travel. It also has different A&K sites such as A&K Villas, Philanthropy, magazines and blogs, etc.

Case: Dubai

Dubai was one of the first cities in the Middle East to attract luxury tourists from other continents such as Russia, India and Africa.

According to research by Bain & Company , Dubai’s luxury market comprises 30% of the total luxury market of the Middle East region and approximately 60% of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Mall, considered the world’s largest shopping mall with nearly 1,200 stores, accounts for 50% of the entire Dubai market. The Dubai Mall has received more than 38 million visitors since 2009, thus surpassing other world leisure destinations such as Times Square, Central Park or Niagara Falls.

In Dubai, the marketing of luxury tourism is managed through local and international travel agencies. The main categories of luxury tourist services are:

1. Overnight in the desert 2. Desert safari 3. Exclusive Dubai city tours 4. Golf sightseeing 5. Horse racing 6. Helicopter rides 7. Sunset cruises 8. Luxury shopping 9. Indoor skiing in the largest ski resort in the world. 10. ‘Sandboarding’ 11. Dune bashing – car tracking in the dunes 12. Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai

On the contrary, the citizens of the United Arab Emirates themselves have the image of being luxury buyers in other countries of the world. The main destinations for them continue to be European cities, such as Paris.

Despite the last periods of crisis, luxury tourists have shown to remain loyal. We can project that the demand for luxury tourism will continue to grow especially in accordance with the new consumer behavior, which demands a sophisticated technological experience, personalized products and services. Luxury tourism is the first and the most flexible industry, which has the opportunity to meet the expectations of new generation consumers.

Actually, less than 1% of the population can afford to regularly carry out all these activities and hitting a euromillions is not something that 99% of the population is going to do.

Main companies in the travel sector in the world

We are going to divide the companies into three large sections that coincide with the main requirements for any traveler who wants to explore the world. Of course there are many more services and subgroups, but the following also include the best-known websites and the ones that move the most business volume in the tourism industry

Holiday Apartments and hotels

In volume of sales and nights reserved in hotels, hostels, pensions, holiday and rural houses and tourist apartments they are undoubtedly number 1. Also by number of rooms offered, which number in the millions, and by growth in recent years.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, it competes head to head with North American counterparts and has nothing to envy Silicon Valley in terms of innovation, applications, artificial intelligence technology and customer service. It offers a little gem that very few offer and that when used properly is a real luxury: free cancellation.

What are we going to say about the web of tourist apartments par excellence that has not already been said. Pioneer in the collaborative economy in this type of accommodation, it has its website in all imaginable languages ​​and brings together more than 1 million apartments directed and managed by private hosts and by small investors in the accommodation offer. It has recently added experiences and activities to its services and has collaboration agreements with large websites in the tourism sector.

It is the largest hotel chain in the world in 2019. The name of this American corporation does not sound familiar to many of us, but it has 10,000 hotels in more than 60 countries and they are behind such famous hotel names as Tryp, Days Inn or Ramada.

This North American company is the leader in number of flights, occupied seats and, therefore, worldwide billing, with close to 50 billion in annual sales and almost 100 thousand employees. It obviously has its own website where you can book flights, but its network of partnerships and partners is so large that you don’t really need it.

The leader in Europe and, by volume, the third largest in the world, the German Lufthansa is synonymous with comfort on its flights, with an unbeatable quality-price ratio. It operates mainly in the center of Europe but its flight routes cross the 5 continents.

It is not an airline nor does it have its own flights, but as a comparator it is unparalleled. This Scottish flight search engine was one of the first to bring together all the airlines, and now also other comparators, to offer millions of results and destinations with real-time prices to be able to choose the best seats, schedules, prices and flight extras.

Years have passed and it is still the only one that offers a magic trick that is difficult to overcome: the search from an origin to an undefined destination and/or on undefined dates, so that one chooses which trip to make based on the results obtained, and not the other way around.

The first of all to offer reservations for tours, experiences and activities of all kinds, Viator offers tens of thousands of proposals and, thanks to its agreements with major partners, it is possible to get a complete travel pack that also includes flight, accommodation, travel insurance and anything else you can imagine to design your vacation entirely.

Younger than Viator, but with a higher growth volume and hundreds of thousands of destinations, this Berlin company offers tours all over the world, in all languages ​​and with local representatives and ambassadors wherever you travel.

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