Travelers want to go to extremes in 2014
So says travel trends expert Daniel Levine, executive director of the Avant-Guide Institute. Levine cites suborbital space flights, hotels inspired by luxury fashion brands and marijuana tours as some of the hot new options for travelers.
?We?re seeing that 2014 will be the year for experiences and the extreme bragging rights that go with them,? he told?Travel Market Report.
?With the economy getting better, agents should encourage their clients to trade up for these experiences. People will be more receptive.?
Here are seven travel trends Levine believes we?ll see this year.
Trend #1. Uncharted territory
The chance to venture where no tourist has gone before will take travelers on everything from suborbital space flights to submarine voyages to the deepest depths of the ocean, said Levine.
This year will see the launch of Richard Branson?s Virgin Galactic spaceflights, with ultra-wealthy passengers on board, but cheaper alternatives will soon be available, he predicted.
?Trends never operate in a silo. There?s competition now to offer space travel at a fraction of the price of the Virgin Galactic flights,? Levine said.
?There?s one company planning to take tourists into low orbit using military grade balloons,? he said, referring to World View Enterprises, a Tucson-based company that has announced plans for balloon flights soaring 19 miles above the earth.
At the opposite extreme, deep-sea tourism, made possible by high-tech submersible vehicles capable of reaching the deepest recesses of the ocean, will soon be more widely available, he said. Tours have already been offered on a limited basis by companies such as Deep Sea Expeditions.
Trend #2. Fashion brands check into hotels
Fashion houses are expanding their reach into the luxury hotel world, noted Levine.
Among the growing number of designer-branded properties are Versace hotels on Australia?s Gold Coast and in Dubai (opening this year); Armani hotels in Dubai and Milan; Bulgari hotels in Bali, Milan and London; a Missoni hotel in Edinburgh, and a Dior suite at the St. Regis New York.
?The reason big fashion houses are getting into travel is that they see that their rich clients are valuing experiences over physical objects. That?s where the bragging rights are,? Levine said. ?The brands are realizing that the new meaning of luxury is about experience.?
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