Luxury travellers seek meaningful experiences

Marriott International, announced it expects to debut more than 30 luxury hotels in 2022 across its global portfolio, at an exclusive media breakfast event held at MiLux Beach House during ILTM Cannes. Alongside the openings, the Marriott team shared insights into evolving luxury traveller.

“Affluent consumers have evolved from what we call acquisitive luxury, which is motivated by a desire to show off, to something more of a meditative luxury, which is motivated by fulfilment and experience,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand and Marketing Officer at Marriott International. “A purposeful luxury traveller is emerging from the pandemic with a desire to restore, renew and recommit to the things that matter most. Luxury is entering a new era of regeneration, driven by maturing tastes and desires. Going forward, this customer is going to be more focused on travelling well, strengthening and deepening relationships wherever they go, and moving from me to me and we, and living well by achieving holistic wellbeing. We are in a fortunate and unique position to see these trends play out across our eight luxury brands at Marriott International.”

Through the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, Edition, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to elevate travel, creating highly contextualised, distinct brand experiences that signal the future of luxury.


“Affluent consumers have evolved from acquisitive luxury - motivated by a desire to show off - to meditative luxury”
– Tina Edmundson


“Our guests are seeking deeper, more immersive experiences that allow them to indulge in global exploration while sparking personal regeneration," said Chris Gabaldon, Senior Vice President, Luxury Brands, Marriott International.

A global luxury trends study conducted in collaboration with creative agency Team One revealed that today’s affluent travellers are shifting from a ‘box checking’ mindset to a ‘traveling well’ mindset, taking a more thoughtful, intentional approach to trip planning.

Gabaldon observed, “As people re-examine and reprioritise what matters to them most, a shift that has accelerated over the past two years, we’re seeing a real embracing of deeper travel. Our guests are focusing more on where they travel and why they make the journey, seeking to foster a more meaningful connection to the destination as well as the people they meet.”

There has been an incredible amount of savings during the pandemic, with studies reporting consumers in Europe and US have some $2.7 trillion in savings.

Edmundson says, “Luxury travel still tops the list of aspirations: luxury air travel and hotels are at the top of the list, with 84 per cent of luxury travellers expressing the need for travel to feel much more personal and intimate. They are also concerned about the impact of their travel on the community and on others – we see this particularly in people who are 40 years or younger. On the other hand, 69 per cent say that they have a desire now, more than ever to travel. Some 65 per cent of luxury travellers insist that it is very important for them to make a positive change in the world. And when it comes to brands that they love, they are really focused on those that treat their employees well.

“As we move to meet the desires of this luxury traveller with these new expectations, I think that what was popular in travel is no longer necessarily what is good in travel,” concludes Edmundson.