Roundtable: How has the pandemic changed luxury travel?

Luxury Travel Pandemic

The pandemic years have had a profound effect on almost every aspect of society. But during this period, other forces — climate change, social justice, the desire for seclusion — raise the question: Is luxury travel keeping up with consumer sentiment? How has the pandemic changed luxury travel?

Seven industry professionals — advisors, suppliers and media — gathered in Turks and Caicos to discuss shifting trends and attitudes.

Representing the travel agency community were Angie Licea, president of Internova’s Global Travel Collection, and Mark Lakin, founder of The Legacy Untold Travel; suppliers were Evita Robinson, founder of Nomadness Travel Tribe, and Vasco Borges, CEO of Beach Enclave; and media included CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, Town and Country travel editor Klara Glowczewska and Afar digital content director Laura Redman. Travel Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann moderated the discussion.

The group was hosted by Beach Enclave. The original transcript has been edited for length, and the chronology has been altered to keep dialogue about specific topics together, though the topic might have recurred at intervals during the course of the conversation.

Arnie Weissmann, editor in chief, Travel Weekly: With increased focus on climate change, more travel companies are coming forward to say what they’re doing around sustainability. When it comes to luxury travel, is the industry leading or following? And has there been a change in the balance between the indulgent luxury traveler and the conscious luxury traveler?

Laura Redman, digital content director, Afar: I think there is more attention being paid to hospitality as an interaction. You hope for good hospitality on the receiving end, but you can also be a better, more responsible traveler when you arrive. I do think the slightly more woke travelers care about that a lot now. They don’t want to have a negative impact on the places they’re going, especially since the pandemic began. They want to know which companies are paying attention to the local communities, and how they can better give back to the places they’re visiting.

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Travel Weekly.

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