Study: Affluent Travelers View Hotels as Trusted Travel Partners

PARIS—Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has released key findings from its second Luxury Insights Report. With a focus on Gateway to Home – Hotels as the Heart of their Communities, this latest volume in a series of ongoing research-led, data-driven reports on luxury travel trends, reveals that affluent travelers perceive hotels and resorts as established authorities and trusted travel guides.

The newly commissioned study found that hotels are perceived as pillars in their community, connecting guests, whether from abroad or locally, to the true character of the destination. Luxury travelers view the role of a hotel beyond curating authentic local experiences. It is the combination of destination expertise and recreating the comforts of home that creates this trusted relationship and positions the most desirable hotels in the world at the very heart of the travel experience, according to the brand.

“Fairmont properties share a special connection to their communities and part of our brand promise is to preserve these diverse and picturesque locations while enhancing their overall welfare,” said Sharon Cohen, VP, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “This guiding principle is inherent to our brand’s culture and was the impetus for us undertaking this study to further inform and validate the important role a hotel, specifically a Fairmont property, plays within the local community and how guests, whether abroad or local, perceive them.”

Fairmont’s Luxury Insights Report is based on data uncovered from Fairmont’s 2018 Global Luxury Traveler Insights Study, an online survey of 2,725 luxury travelers from France, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, China, and United Arab Emirates. Industry leaders across the globe—including consumer experience futurists, sustainability strategists, association leaders and travel company presidents—also shared their perspectives on the findings to round out the report and facilitate a discussion around innovation leadership and the integral role of experience in the travel sector. Their insights and perspectives will also be explored further in a new Leaders on Luxury video series, which will feature a mix of Fairmont, AccorHotels and other industry experts commenting on the state of the luxury market.

The study reveals that guests look to luxury hotels as a key aspect of their travel experience. The influence of hotels goes beyond the traditional expectation of having a place to sleep at night, with guests looking to hotels to provide immersive experiences that are sustainably viable and meet the needs of their entire family, according to the company.

Report highlights include:

  • Exclusive experiences: travelers prioritize experiences over brands, with two out of three considering it important to have experiences not readily available to everyone (65%).
  • Destination insiders: 89% percent of those surveyed said that the best hotels have colleagues that are familiar with the area and can provide the inside scoop on things only the locals know.
  • The hotel factor: 93% of luxury travelers consider the hotel an important part of the vacation experience, so much so that over half (59%) feel that hotel options influence their choice of destination.
  • Generation green: 84% percent of respondents consider it important that the hotel provides recommendations of experiences that are not detrimental to the local community. Guests recognize overtourism as a growing concern and that changes need to be made if the beauty that attracts them to worldwide destinations is going to last; travelers look to luxury hotels to help drive change that is positive and sustainable.
  • No flight required: luxury hotels are not just for the jet-set. For 77%, these remarkable properties provide a memorable option for social and business occasions in their hometown. As pillars in their communities, locals seek these institutions to celebrate momentous occasions and create family traditions.
  • Community connection: seasoned travelers understand the impact of tourism within a destination. Four out of five think environmentally sustainable practices and locally sourced kitchen ingredients are important.

“It comes as no surprise that our latest research uncovered the central role Fairmont hotels play in connecting guests to the local community,” added Cohen. “As the Fairmont footprint expands to new markets around the world, we will continue to invest in understanding the motivations of our guests and the local communities in which we operate to ensure we are anticipating their desires and adapting to their needs.”

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