Luxury Travel Trends Right Now, According Artisans of Leisure

Luxury tour operator Artisans of Leisure has compiled its latest “Luxury Travel Trends List” based on the company’s knowledge of the luxury travel market. The company arranges private cultural tours in more than 70 countries worldwide.

"Luxury travelers continue to prioritize one-of-a-kind, highly personalized international trips with their families and closest friends in 2023,” said Ashley Ganz, founder and CEO of Artisans of Leisure. “They have years of pent-up travel dreams to fulfill, whether it’s celebrating important life events, reconnecting with family and friends, indulging cultural and culinary passions, visiting places on their bucket lists, or a combination of all of the above.”

Here's the Artisans of “Leisure Luxury Travel Trends List” for 2023:

Over-the-top luxury: High-end travelers continue to splurge on travel. They want to do it right—with exclusive, over-the-top tours that include ultra-luxury services. Similarly, affluent travelers want private services during their trips. They want tours filled with private insider experiences, exclusive access, private tours, private drivers and more. Many also want private villas and stand-alone suites, private yachts and private jets.

Planning multiple trips in advance: Travelers are back to planning trips far in advance. Many travelers are simultaneously booking multiple tours with Artisans of Leisure one to two years in advance. Bucket-list trips are also in demand. Tours that include iconic destinations and experiences, such as ancient sites in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru and luxury safaris in Africa are popular. Many travelers have lifelong dreams of visiting certain bucket-list destinations, and they feel that now is the time to take these trips.

Spoiling the grandchildren: Families want to spend time together and create memories in amazing destinations. Multi-generational private tours are in demand right now, especially highly customized luxurious trips hosted by grandparents who want to treat their grandchildren to the trip of a lifetime. Travel with friends and extended family is also popular; families and groups of friends want to spend time together and create memories together in amazing destinations.

Pent-up demand for closed destinations: Travelers are excited to finally be able to visit destinations that remained closed throughout the pandemic, such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand. There is incredible pent-up demand for these destinations, and travelers are booking extensive, over-the-top trips.

Active and adventure travel: Adventure-focused tours that combine active outdoor experiences with in-depth cultural touring are in high demand. Travelers want to be active, and they are seeking thrilling experiences, such as hot-air balloon rides over the Swiss Alps, via ferrata in Oman, heli-skiing in Japan, trekking in Bhutan and scuba diving in the Red Sea.

Incorporating luxury trains and cruises: High-end travelers are interested in incorporating luxury trains and cruises into their broader, more comprehensive private tours. For example, travelers are wanting a few nights aboard the Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as part of a longer land tour in Europe, the Aqua Mekong as part of a bigger Southeast Asia tour, the Belmond Andean Explorer as part of a longer Peru tour, and luxury Galapagos and Amazon cruises as part of a longer South America tour.

The bar cart with plush blue seating on a luxury train
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train (Photo by Belmond)

Hyper-specialized, themed travel: Learning and self-cultivation during the pandemic continue to play a major role in influencing trips. Special interest travel, including ancestry tours, culinary tours, music tours, garden tours, history tours, hiking tours, biking tours and art tours, are especially popular. Travelers want to be immersed in each location. They want unique and authentic hands-on experiences and activities based on their interests.

Honeymoons: Artisans of Leisure is seeing more and more honeymooners requesting dream-trip honeymoons in international destinations. As well, celebrations of all sorts are in demand. Travelers continue to book big trips to celebrate milestone birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and holidays. Travelers feel that there’s no time like the present to celebrate.

Travel inspired by TV and movies: Top shows, such as “The White Lotus” and “Emily in Paris” continue to influence travel. Travelers want to visit places they've seen in favorite shows and movies that they've watched recently, such as Paris (Emily in Paris, “Lupin,” “Call My Agent”), Israel (“Fauda,” “The Baker and the Beauty”), Italy (“The White Lotus,” “House of Gucci,” “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”), Scotland (“Outlander”), England (British mystery series, “The Crown,” “House of the Dragon”), Ireland and Croatia (“Game of Thrones”), Spain and Portugal (“House of the Dragon”) and New Zealand (“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”).

Incorporating new hotels, museums and sites: Many exciting museum exhibits, events and new hotel openings are motivating trips. Travelers want to incorporate the new hotels and cultural attractions into their tours. Examples include the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the Vermeer retrospective at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in 2023. They want to stay at new luxury hotels such as Hotel La Palma in Capri, Zenagi and The Ritz-Carlton Nikko in Japan, Passalacqua in Italy, Capella Hanoi in Vietnam and Cheval Blanc Paris.

Off-the-beaten-track destinations: Travelers are venturing more off the beaten track to destinations such as Georgia, Uzbekistan, Puglia, lesser-visited Greek islands and smaller cities in Europe. They are requesting to combine emerging destinations and lesser-visited sites with iconic favorite destinations.

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