American Marketer


Virtuoso curates business model based on 2016 travel trends

January 19, 2016

Riviera Maya, a Virtuoso destination Riviera Maya, a Virtuoso destination


Based on the findings of its Virtuoso Luxe Report, the high-end hospitality network has uncovered five travel trends for 2016.

In the last year, Virtuoso has added 95 new properties to its portfolio of more than 1,110 hotels in 100 countries. Demonstrating its understanding of the affluent traveler, 43 percent of properties have partnered exclusively with Virtuoso to better serve wealthy guests, thus giving the network a clear view of luxury travel trends.

How the affluent travel
In its Luxe Report, Virtuoso found five trends that will shape the growth of its hotels, resorts, spas, lodges, camps, villas and private islands. While the information may be based off Virtuoso properties, the hospitality industry as a whole can learn from its findings.

The first trend hospitality brand should be aware of for 2016 is multi-generational travel. To accommodate these large familial groups, hotels should offer large suites and private villas.

For instance, The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, a property within the Virtuoso portfolio, will offer guests an 11-bedroom suite later this year. The suite will be the largest in the Caribbean. Likewise, Four Seasons Nevis offers its guests 40 villas as choice accommodations.

Secondly, Virtuoso found that guests “place great value on experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime.” While not a new trend for 2016, offering a “sense of place” for guests will result in bookings based on the availability of authentic experiences.

Four Seasons Nevis wedding

Four Seasons Nevis

Similarly, there is an interest in Lifestyle Hotels, especially among millennial travelers. These hotels “blaze a new trail” and include Andaz, W Hotels, Conrad and Edition properties around the world.

Virtuoso is also betting on travelers wanting to be the first to discover new properties and being increasingly interested in exclusive access and perks. Virtuoso’s Preview program introduces “emerging” or “reemerging” hotels to its clients through pre-opening and debut stays. The latest to join the Virtuoso Preview program is the soon-to-reopen Ritz Paris (see story).

As affluent travelers look for more unique and exclusive experience, the distance in which they are willing to travel has also expanded. To account for this trend, Virtuoso has added agencies throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as expanded its presence in Europe.