March 17, 2021

Elite travel trends

Luxury hospitality sector grows in importance

The luxury travel industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors to contribute significantly to global economic growth and development. Growth in disposable income and increase in upper middle class expenditure has raised the demand for higher service standards. To whit, the concept of just what constitutes “luxury” – especially in the hotel field – is evolving rapidly. Connoisseur Circle has selected a few prime examples…

Zannier Hotels: In search of timelessness

Within the last decade, visionary Arnaud Zannier—heir to a shoe and textile empire as well as a passionate host—created a unique hotel group whose latest addition, the Bãi San Hô, opened in Vietnam in December 2020. For the first time in the history of Zannier Hotels, guests can not only select among 71 villas (46 of which have a private pool), but they can also choose one of the 45 private residences as their own and stay for good. Zannier’s vision of luxury comes through in every detail: quiet rather than loud, authentic rather than ostentatious, and appreciative of the environment in which his properties are located. “I think I’m a visionary in search of simplicity and timelessness,” said Mr. Zannier to one of Connoisseur Circle’s reporters.

Photo: Bãi San Hô – Zannier Hotels – Vietnam – © Frederik Wissink – Zannier Hotels

#newluxury à la Bill Bensley

“Luxury is dead,” asserts Bill Bensley, an internationally successful hotel designer and jack of all trades. For him, “luxury” stands for more than a traditional notion based on wealth and fashion trends. Bensley is pretty firm in his new definition of luxury: in his development of environmentally sustainable luxury resorts, in particular, he always focuses on protecting communities and the environment. A case in point is one of his masterpieces, the high-end, not-for-profit glamping resort “Shinta Mani Wild” in Cambodia. The sole purpose of this resort is to preserve Cambodia’s Cardamom National Park, the last rainforest in Southeast Asia. Bensley’s latest project has a similar mission: the proceeds of his newly discovered passion for painting will also benefit the Shinta Mani Foundation and the associated Wildlife Alliance, whose rangers protect the 865-hectare forest and fauna of the Bensley Collection—Shinta Mani Wild. This special project is very close to Bill Bensley’s heart, especially in these pandemic times.

Elite travel trends
Shinta Mani Wild Cambodia – © EliseHassey

The Aethos family is growing

Wellness, relaxation and authentic discoveries—these are the principles of the recently launched European hotel group Aethos. In 2020, the group opened Aethos Saragano in Umbria, Italy, and it has now expanded its portfolio to include a 17th-century palazzo, Aethos Corsica, scheduled to open in April 2021. The group is also planning to open two more properties in Italy and Portugal.

Elite travel trends
Aethos Corsica

Learn more about the Connoisseur Circle:

Luxury travel market set for strong growth

According to the latest figures published by Allied Market Research, the global luxury travel market size was valued at $945.6 billion in 2019 and is expected grow at a CAGR of 11.1% during 2021-2027.

Travellers nowadays focus on experimenting with destinations to gain experience in terms of cultures, foods, and other experiences. To gain a valuable and unforgettable experience, people increasingly opt for unique trips, which include cultural visits, cruising, and adventure activities.