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High-end: why it's a new form of Luxury tourism

High-end experiential tourism is a relatively new phenomenon that has distant roots.

It represents the tip of the iceberg of a much deeper cultural transformation, linked to the shift in demand from product-oriented logic, which has characterized the tourism industry since the post-war period, to the current focus on emotional factors and the quest for experiences.

This trend began to establish itself over a decade ago, and following the pandemic, it has rapidly exploded, pervading most tourism markets transversally, especially in the high-spending segments. It continues to grow at a pace nearly double that of traditional tourism.

Luxury brands have sensed the potential of this new orientation.

The European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA) commissioned Bain & Co to conduct the first Europe-wide study dedicated to this market.

One of the most interesting findings from 2022 is that high-end tourism represents only 2% of Europe's hospitality establishments, yet it generates almost 22% of the continent’s revenue.

This figure is expected to grow further.

In the high-end sector overall, and significantly within the luxury segment, travelers have developed a new sensibility.

They wish to be protagonists, freed from preordained models, brands, stars, and standardized procedures, to live authentic experiences founded on the cultural values of the territory, sustainability, sobriety, aesthetics, and personalization.

Personalization does not mean making modifications to proposals and systems based on standardization but requires a complete overhaul of the traditional system.

The mere display of historical, artistic, cultural, and environmental assets, as well as services, is no longer sufficient to guarantee a competitive advantage.

They represent only the context within which a coherent, flexible, and multifaceted experiential proposal must be composed and articulated, synergistic with the socio-economic-cultural fabric of the destination.

To meet the high-end traveler’s demands today, it is essential to have time and the exclusive dedication of specialized resources.

Establishing a dialogue to understand and engage with their desires, needs, hopes, and potential fears is crucial.

While technology can certainly assist, nothing can replace the human connection necessary for an emotional bond.

The primary goal of experiential tourism is to create a profound connection between the traveler and the destination, fostering significant emotions and lasting memories.

This type of tourism is based on active participation and interaction with the local community. It is a sophisticated and content-rich form of tourism that demands targeted responses, which the traditional industry struggles to provide.

This topic is extensively developed in Giancarlo Leporatti's study, "The Silent Revolution."

If you wish to delve deeper into the subject, you can download the 2024 edition of the study from the Eureka MICE International library at this link: [].


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