Luxury travel in Africa is expected to pick up post-COVID-19 with the youth leading the way.
Last week the Xchange webinar – hosted by the Africa Tourism Association – focused on The New Luxury segment, which looked at new uniquely African properties and products, highlighting what travellers are looking for in luxury experiences post-COVID-19.
Concession General Manager at Kruger Shalati and Marketing Manager of Thebe Tourism Group, Judiet Barnes, said space would be key to luxury travel. “The luxury of not being too close to another person or guest is something Africa can offer quite easily.
“The perception of luxury travel has changed and we need to look beyond the geographical location of a target market and rather their mind-set on luxury travel.”
Owner of Jnane Tamsna boutique hotel in Marrakech, Meryanne Loum-Martin, said luxury travel had to focus on personal experiences and a connection to a destination. “We have digital nomads who can now afford to stay in five-star hotels. Luxury travel is now as diverse as life and there’s not one definition any more.”
Founder and CEO of luxury travel company, Up In The Air Life, Claire Soares, said marketing for luxury travel had transformed to include a much more diverse target market. “Seeing people who look like us, African-Americans, in luxury travel marketing makes us believe we can also experience places like Paris.
“Now with COVID-19, luxury travel will be personalised with more safety measures and it gives vendors the opportunity to make travel still luxurious but with masks and stricter health policies.”
Loum-Martin agreed and said luxury travel offerings appealed to a broader spectrum of traveller and could suit different budgets. “There’s been a big shift to more young people affording luxury travel and the industry has responded to that with smaller, boutique hotels that are more affordable.”
Barnes said the youth segment would drive luxury travel in the post-COVID-19 world. “They are the ‘Instagram’ generation who want to take more risk so they can experience that ‘wow’ factor. Something that will take their breath away and they can afford it now.
“There will always be a link between city and safari but a lot of people are wanting to get away from the cities and that will continue during COVID.”