Many of the world’s emerging countries are now highly desirable holiday destinations, despite many of them suffering from overwhelming poverty, exemplified by Ethiopia winning Best Tourism Destination for 2015.
First we had to define what luxury means in regards to travel. It was soon clear that it did not simply mean a king-size bed, a margarita by the infinity pool, or even great service. ‘People want to go back to basics.
Luxury travellers break their boundaries, they want risk, immersion into local culture, extreme sports, once in a lifetime experiences, and then the luxury aspect is the safety, the transportations and the warm bed.
Thus, people are looking for something different, which is why the travel industry should not rush to ‘Westernise’ emerging destinations. Rather than using the same model of a resort in Europe or America, hoteliers and travel agencies should focus on the local selling points. They should build an experience around them, one that both promotes and protects it, because uniqueness is luxury.