Luxury Hoteliers Magazine 4th Quarter 2019 - Page 98

So, what is the new ultimate form of luxury in the rarified air of the HNWI? Authentic human contact. In a world saturated with digital communication and digital services, it is perhaps unsurprising that HNWIs are turning away from devices in favour of human contact IRL and in-the-moment experiences as the ultimate form of luxury. And the shift goes hand-in-hand with the rise of the experiential economy. So, what does this mean for the hotelier? Plenty. But it’s important to first have perspective on the experiential economy mentioned above. luxury audiences—and increasingly, others—seek out enjoyable experiences rather than goods. Think a once-in-a- lifetime family trip to Reykjavik, Iceland. THE LUXURY ECONOMIES BEYOND EXPERIENCE Within the luxury hospitality industry, we’ve heard a lot about the progression of luxury-based economies. In previous decades, luxury was often defined by the accumulation of high-end material goods. This is generally referred to as the Consumption Economy, where luxury audiences sought to own and consume products. But what’s on the horizon? How can hoteliers take advantage of the next evolution? According to Orit, CEO/ Partner of The O Group, a NYC-based branding agency focused on luxury, the future is Transformational. In other words, an economy where experiences are elevated from mere enjoyment to vehicles of personal transformation. Says, Orit: “This new Transformational Economy opens up interesting possibilities for luxury hospitality brands – specifically inside strategies that But beginning in the 90s, the Consumption Economy began evolving into what we understand today as the Experience Economy. This is where 98 ILHA