Cape Town - The latest travel trend amongst the wealthy is about personalised experiences and it's having a radical impact on the luxury travel industry; more and more these travellers are looking not just for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but also for unique accommodation.
“We're finding that people want a whole package - from a private villa in a prime location to an individualised itinerary”, explains Sasha Ella, MD of the Mantis Owner's Collection (a portfolio of award-winning, exclusive-use, luxury villas around the world).
Travel is one of the luxuries Ultra High Net Worth individuals are increasingly opting to spend money on annually, according to Millionaire Corner.
The rich are not just travelling though, but looking for meaningful experiences as opposed to conspicuous consumption. Forbes magazine reports that nearly eight-in-ten affluent Millennials will choose to spend on experiences rather than things, and that 23 percent are more interested in travelling overseas as compared to older generations.
SA is a top destination
While Europe and the US are still popular travel destinations, more and more HNW individuals are looking to further flung locations with South Africa, Morocco, Peru and Indonesia which were voted as some of the Top 25 Destinations by Trip Advisor in 2015. Cape Town has also been named the Best City in the World in the 2015/2016 Telegraph Travel Awards, for the fourth year running.
According to the South African Tourism Research Unit (SRU)'s report on the Tourism Performance Highlights of 2015, around 8.9 million international tourists spent an average of 9.5 nights in SA and about 13 percent of the group visited more than one province.
“Since we launched the Mantis Owner's Collection in September 2015 we've found that our clients not only desire private, luxury accommodation with all of the bells and whistles, which are standard, but also want their trip tailored around their interests as well. Naturally this is a bespoke service we excel at”, believes Ella.
Sasha Ella has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and brings this to bear when helping guests plan their visit. “I find that our HNW guests normally want to explore a few different regions so most trips will include the bush, the sea and possibly a visit to Gauteng as well.
“At MOC we specialise in ensuring that their itinerary makes provision for their unique needs - whether that's planning special kid's activities, arranging for elephant safaris or booking the trendiest restaurants”, Ella explains.
Adapted from a press release for IOL