Luxury PR agencies track trends in travel because it is essential that we peg our client’s offerings to them for media exposure.  Success for a hospitality company depends on publicizing that you are innovating and a market leader.

A travel public relations company that specializes in hospitality PR monitors the emerging trends worldwide to best position its hospitality clients for success.  These trends shift quickly in today’s digital environment, so it is vital to stay abreast of them by subscribing to Google Alerts, and regularly reading top media outlets like Skift. It is important to position your property in the context of trends, because that is what will perk up the ears of editors, journalists and the all important bloggers.

What Is The Most Significant Trend For 2017?

Experiential and authentic travel is one any travel PR firm will be paying attention to and using in its media correspondence because they are buzzwords that tickle people’s fancy.  Not just going to the same hotel or destination, they are looking for new destinations. Even in the private jet sector, people aren’t repeating the same routes. Customers are actively seeking out new and different places all the time and a top public relations agency can get you exposure to appeal to their new instincts and attract reservations.  The growing affluent market is looking to expand their horizons, so position your property as offering an experience they have not had before.

What Is Changing In Family Travel?

Adventure – budget or luxury style tops many families bucket list nowadays and  a luxury PR firm is going to focus on that in press releases. So it is smart for hoteliers to create packages that offer exciting excursions that are active. Since often the group is comprised of extended families, and multi-generational, it is wise to have an excursion specialist. It could be saying at a three or four-star hotel in Colorado or California, and hiking in Yosemite, for example, if the kids of old enough.

Publications to promote your story range from Conde Nast Traveler to the New York Times. There are also the highly influential Mom blogs, with their devoted readers. And since moms, or grandmothers are the ones most frequently planning vacations, marketing to them will be fruitful. Gaining those links in such high authority sites is what an online PR firm will make happen for you

The group can run from six to as many as sixteen, depending on the number of grandchildren involved, if close relatives join the group. With adventure travel being big for Baby Boomers who are often extremely fit, and also often footing the bill, a surprising number of activities are popular.

There are tree houses in Arizona and mountain biking in Vermont. There is rim to rim hiking in the Grand Canyon. And of course, bragging rights for the parents and their offspring about where they have been and what they’ve done is part of the scene. It is wise for hotels to post to their social media accounts using creative hashtags to attract families. Your agency should be able to promote your offerings through Instagram, which is particularly popular in the travel sector.

Which Destinations Are Likely To Succeed?

Traditionally, it’s those inveterate travelers following The Rough Guide that pioneered destinations, and luxury followed. That continues to be the case with many destinations such as Costa Rica, but there are new places where luxury is coming in first and fast like Nicaragua. The same applies to the Mauritius, Vietnam and Bali. Each has a number of world-class resorts that have opened up recently.  Nicaragua recently opened a new private jet airport catering to this segment of the market. It’s like Costa Rica was several years ago. A magazine to take a look at if you want to know about emerging destinations is Afar. Also, Outside covers adventure travel and often positions them as “luxury for the hardcore.”

Value Offerings

Price still drives decision making for the luxury traveler – everyone likes a good deal.  Type-A personalities and entrepreneurs are always out perusing for deals. Even the luxury traveler wants to get their money’s worth. Offer high value – that is what the traveling public is seeking today.  You can do that with packages and offers that roll up services with room rates. A good example is at Canyon Ranch Spa in the Berkshires, they included a number of spa treatments together with the room rate and two dinners. Then prospective guests feel like they are not going to pay significantly more than the package price.

Curating For Your Guest

It is all about customizing and personalizing the client’s experience and that is what a luxury PR agency will do for you. Your concierge team should be able to provide “curated” itineraries catered to the individual guest. They have to be prepared to reassure guests with confidence that what you have planned for them has never been done before – or few, anyhow. And if you tell them to be on the dock for a dive at 8 a.m., they will be there, so you better be ready. Or maybe they skip the Louvre and head over to the captivating Rodin Museum instead.

If it is a hotel in New York City, for example, you can offer them a personalized docent tour with an expert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art. Then if you are hosting a Jewish guest, send them up for a sneak preview of a show at the Jewish Museum. If your hotel is located in Houston, arrange for the guest to have a special viewing of the Rothko Chapel.

How Can You Attract Affluent Chinese Traveler?

Since the Chinese traveler has become ubiquitous worldwide, it is important to cultivate them and an experienced luxury travel PR firm will know how to reach this audience. These are curious and tenacious travelers, with a surprising amount of disposable income. However they also want to feel they are getting a deal. So it is for in an hotelier’s best interest to lay on the little extras that really make Chinese guests feel at home. In big city hotels, where these travelers are likely to go options to consider are a Chinese breakfast, Chinese newspapers and TV channels in the rooms, adaptors for Chinese electrical appliances, and an in-room guide in Mandarin telling the guest how to use all the facilities.

Some hotels should consider a Mandarin speaker on the concierge desk if you are serious about this market, both to make the guests feel comfortable, and to sell extras such as rounds of golf and tourist excursions.  It is a good idea to court the foreign press based in New York City.  That includes those from China.

Luxuriants No Longer Want Souvenirs

The elite traveler, which a luxury PR pro knows intimately, now thirsts for experiences over acquisitions during their stay. This is “good news for travel, bad news for handbags,” Chris Sanderson, co-founder of the Future Laboratory, a trend-forecasting agency, said at a Ritz-Carlton hotels breakfast. Owning specific, expensive products like the Hermès Kelly bag doesn’t mean as much anymore. Travel experiences—and posting about them in social media—matter more.

The Next Travel Buzzword:  Simplicity

Words like “curated,” “artisanal,” and “authentic” fill press releases, but at ILTM,  the buzzword was “simplicity.” True luxury is slowing down—that moment of decompression when you see a phenomenal view—and feeling completely unburdened.  This trend is illustrated by the success of such magazines as Dwell and others, which focus on pairing down to the essentials. Other magazines that feature simplicity are Martha Stewart Living and outlets like WeBlogTheWorld.com, a blog with a large following.  When clients are placed in these outlets by an experienced online PR firm, they are invaluable in moving you up the rankings on Google.

Small Has Never Been Better

The trend toward boutique size hotels is pervasive, and these properties often engage luxury PR firms experienced in promoting such hotels.. Marriott, for example, launched the Autograph brand, which features properties that are under two hundred rooms and have a distinct reflection of the local culture. Meanwhile, Small Luxury Hotels of the World coined this phrase “Small Has Never Been Better,” perhaps as a way to position them against large chain hotels and resorts.

The average size across the brand is 48 rooms. InterContinental Hotels will open a hotel in Venice in 2018 with just 55 rooms, unusual for a larger luxury chain. Guests staying in small hotels tend to want ultra-immersive experiences. “Clients are asking us to create experiences for them that will help them grow as people and as a family,” Ezon says of the trend. “A beach resort is no longer just about pampering yourself; it’s about connecting.”  Travel and Leisure and other major outlets are covering boutique properties in their “Deals “ sections, so make sure to pitch them. The links in such high quality outlets are invaluable, and again, an online SEO PR firm knows how to obtain them by working closely with editors.

Family Owned Properties

Family-owned properties, capitalizing on the travelers’ desire to make deep, local connections, will become an even bigger draw in the upcoming year. In Alaska, Winterlake and Tutka Bay Lodges (both are National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World) are owned and operated by renowned chef Kirsten Dixon, her outdoorsman husband Carl, and they’re grown children.

In Sorrento, Italy, the beloved Grand Excelsior Vittoria, surrounded by lush gardens and Bay of Naples views, has been run by the Fiorentino family since 1834. The Beau-Rivage in Geneva is adding 17 show-stopping top-floor suites to its historic building this spring, and is still run by the Mayer family as it has for the past five generations.

Your sales team has to be able to speak to customers knowledgeable about what the hotel is offering. To attract guests you have to be able to offer things in a way that’s different from other properties.  A travel PR firm like Abelow PR can secure exposure in such outlets as the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast Traveler to elevate the profile of your property and to attract the lucrative luxury market.

Contact us to learn how we can help you.