As we head into the new year, luxury hoteliers have a number of different challenges and opportunities for innovation that lie ahead of them. While the luxury space continues to be a lucrative one for the hospitality industry, there’s increasing pressure on hoteliers to continue to evolve.
That’s reflected in the fact that sales of luxury goods such as handbags, shoes, and fashion are expected to remain stagnant this year at about $273 billon. It’s a slip of 1 percent from 2015, according to a recent Altagamma/Bain & Co. report on the global luxury market. Granted, sales of luxury goods also suffered in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008, but in the years since, they’ve picked up again, and 2016 is the first year where yet another decline has emerged.
However, when it comes to sales of luxury automobiles (8 percent increase), fine dining and drinking (4 percent jump), and luxury cruising (5 percent rise), sales are up this year — it’s proof that luxury experiences are still valued, and still very much in demand.
Simply put, today’s concept of luxury is being defined by experiences. But what kinds of luxury experiences do people want today? That is one of many questions hoteliers are asking themselves these days.
To get a sense of what they are focusing on in 2017 and beyond, Skift spoke to a number of luxury hospitality experts, including Bill Walshe, CEO of Viceroy Hotel Group, Ed French, chief sales and marketing officer for The Ritz-Carlton, and Mark Pardue, area vice president of luxury and lifestyle brands and general manager of Park Hyatt New York. We also spoke to Mike Fuerstman, co-founder and creative director of the new Pendry Hotels brand, and Tony Kurz, CEO of Brandmark Collective, who is spearheading the launch of Karl Lagerfeld Hotels. Here’s what each had to say.
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