How Does One Define Luxury? …….

Opulence, richness, grandeur, splendor, magnificence, sumptuous, lavish, wealth, affluence, prosperity, bed of roses, milk and honey, comfort, security, rarity, bliss, delight, leisure, a pleasure obtained only rarely, joy, delight, bliss, blessing, benefit, advantage, boon, satisfaction, comfort, ease, extravagance, indulgence, self-indulgence, treat, extra, non-essential,

 

All the above could be used descriptively in regard to the passion everyone has for the alpine and mountain regions. So with this in mind, why does ‘Luxury Mountain Travel’ have such an exclusive outlook on who its clients are, rather than an inclusive one because who are we to decide what someone’s idea of luxury is?

 

There is a well-known credit card whose strap line is “priceless” – a luxury experience can, in my view, be construed in the same way PRICELESS – it is often the smallest things that give the most pleasure and perhaps ultimately being alive is the epitome of luxury!

 

If anyone is asked what the word ‘Luxury’ means to them, I am convinced that every answer would be different!  It is such a personal thing and yet within the travel and tourism industry it has come to represent something almost elitist and unobtainable to most visitors.  However, is this really the case and are we perhaps overthinking how we promote ‘luxury’ within the market? Are we missing something? Are we too focused on a particular product that we have lost sight of what is around us?

 

What are we trying to sell and do ‘travel’ businesses really know themselves what they are promoting?  Controversial I know but given how life has changed for so many since the outbreak of COVID-19, perhaps it is time we sat back and thought more about how the brand ‘Luxury’ really looks to the industry; after all it really just comes down to how one matches an experience with a guest.

 

Maybe it comes down to kudos and the thought of being involved in something ‘exclusive’ – hosted nights in 5* hotels, prestige trade events, dining in Michelin star restaurants, being part of a ‘club’, good commission rates, or the thought that what is offered to clients is in some way superior to those other travel companies market?

 

With a shrinking winter season and snow-levels decreasing, a constant ask of “how do we get more skiers to the mountains?”, ecological impacts as well as for UK businesses and the still ever presence of the impact from Brexit, business is getting more intense so is it not now the time to take a hard look at the word ‘luxury’ and what it really means …… I have a feeling that if we dissect the word and look at what is on offer in the mountain and alpine regions we might just realise that even the most simple of experiences could offer a client luxury and that maybe we can turn the whole brand of ‘Luxury Travel’ on its head!

 

So let’s have some fun and put ourselves in the shoes of the visitors and sweep away those preconceived concepts of what we in the industry think of as Luxury and look at experiences and the amazing products that we have at our finger tips, that could be used for clients rather than foregoing a vast income stream which so many are willing to ignore!

 

Off the top of my head these are just a few things that spring to mind if one is to explore what luxury means when it really comes down to the little things, the experience, that make us smile or feel all gooey inside ….

 

  • A family together is a luxury
  • Respite is a luxury
  • Having ‘me-time’ is a luxuryAccessing the most suitable ski resort etc. is a luxury
  • Being self-indulgent once in a while is a treat and a luxury
  • Being with a loved one is a luxury
  • Stealing precious moments in time away from the turmoil of daily challenges is a luxury
  • Finding a hidden gem is a luxury
  • Discovering peace is a luxury
  • Being inspired by the greatness of nature is a luxury
  • A helping hand or a shoulder to cry on can be a luxury

 

And I am sure that you can all add so many more! Would love to hear from you ….

 

So, going back to my opening comments, how could we open up the Luxury Travel Market to be more inclusive and accessible but without losing any magic nor diluting the product so it becomes common place?

 

I would suggest that we look at what we are marketing and selling and see if there is a way, which I am sure there is, of engaging with customers to offer them experiences that they may either just not know about (because if you don’t then they won’t) and not be afraid of promoting your product to those who might not necessarily be in your ‘product sphere’ but who would undoubtedly appreciate the opportunity of having a little luxury; once or whenever they are able to do so. After all life is an experience and the greatest is that of being able to breathe and live life the full!

A simple glass of water, a simple lunch in Swedish Lapland, by a Swiss lake, the heady scent of narcissi…. the luxury of a family being together …..

 

 

Catherine Cosby

Directrice et Fondatrice