Hawke’s Bay based Louise Frend of Unique Stays and Experiences, who exhibited at Luxperience for the first time, says people expect authenticity of the host and the place they are visiting. ‘That’s one of the reasons we stick with small and boutique accommodation and operators,’ says Frend. ‘Luxury is about much more than sleeping between Egyptian sheets.’ Dane Steele Green of Steele Lux Travel says high end travellers are looking to get as much as they can from the destination.
‘Travel enriches your life and when you get home what do you talk about – where you’ve been, yes, but more about what you did when you got there.’ Steele says the biggest compliment for an agent is when a client asks ‘where can we go next?’ and waits for the recommendation. Austin Shen, of Deluxe Travel China, says his clients usually don’t mention a destination. ‘They just have an idea of what they want to do this time – adventure, family fun or whatever.’