In an interview with Helena de Mendonça, director of the Flow agency, which has been active in the national and international luxury tourism sector for more than 10 years, we have discovered the new paths and trends for 2018. By working with two fundamental points in this market: the final consumer and the players of tourism and hospitality, Helena shares with us her impressions in a 360 degree turnaround of this booming market.
“From gourmets to sportsmen, from adventurers to honeymooners, from superactive to those who just want to relax, there is always a constant these days: the search for activities that go out of the ordinary,” says Mendonça who works with celebrities, gastronomic projects, fashion and influencers in tourism, also operating in partnership with several travel agencies, hotels and airlines in Brazil and abroad.
A trip to Maldives that was just a dream yesterday, becomes a reality and even a common place with the opening of the channels of information and communication so accessible. And this, already has been happening at times tending to intensify more and more.
Another reality is the opening of new routes, airlines, access to internal flights by applications that made the prices of tickets and accommodations cheaper and fostered this market more willing to travel.
“So destinations like South Africa and Portugal have grown by an average of 13% and are trends for 2018. The tendency is for a set of factors such as prices, tourism disclosures and then influencers end up exploiting these opportunities and people who did not know so much about a destination, hotel and activities get interested, “explains Helena.
However, increasing competitiveness and supply brings with it another great challenge: “the perfect roadmap”. People want something out of the ordinary, especially those that consume more expensive hotels. In addition to a special experience, the search for different places, the comfort of feeling safe and able to maintain your diet routine or exercise, and a growing search for “disconnect.”
Today hotels and travel agencies have to reinvent themselves to meet the demands of increasingly informed and discerning travelers. Hotels in turn have to be overcome in offering quality services and range of activities. Some agencies in the field of tourism today also seek to segment themselves by serving the LGBT audience, gourmets, families or couples.
For example on safaris or even in wineries, guests want more comfort and better understand how the routine of the trip will work. Properties come surprising with its facilities even being in completely isolated places such as the Mhondoro, a lodge that has a villa with pool, 24hs chef, sauna and gymnasium, something very rare in lodging for safaris. Likewise, Delaire Graff, considered the jewel of the wineries and the Leeu States that won the award for best hotel in the region, can hold on to those positions by exceeding expectations. These hotels offer a variety of on-site dining options with kitchens and different styles, spa, art collection, extreme privacy and even services such as helicopter transfers that take luxury to a new level.
Already speaking of travel agencies we have the ones that provide the luxury in the most exotic destinations or extremely attractive itineraries focused on specific activities like the one of athletes of sneakers that Concierge created. This script takes passionate about the sport to diverse destinations with the privilege of being with its idol and reference in the sport for a week. They are tennis clinics with Eduardo and Alexandre Oncins to learn the latest trends of the sport. A true holiday experience for young and family.
In the area of gastronomy we have seen many trends such as bike routes through wineries such as Vinitur that comes to meet the Brazilian customer who loves wines but who wants to maintain good shape and enjoy unique landscapes. This even with the differential of having the greater comfort of vans that accompany the circuit and lead to bike in points where the script asks and you can still choose the model between electric bike, mountain bike or retro.
During the trips, the client also have unique experiences such as private tours, bilingual drivers and even take the role of a guide. Experiences with luxury vehicles that offer wi-fi, helicopters and boats are a trend. Having people in charge of the tours, able to adapt and have flexibility and autonomy in the change of route, search for information, indications and reservations for the client during the trip are differentials that win the most demanding public and willing to invest more in a trip to have such comfort. Especially entrepreneurs who invest in the MICE segment (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exihibitions) for this a company has been highlighting the quality of services and differentials for the Brazilian public B2B to Club Africae by Kobo.
A final example in the hotel industry is the Constance hotel chain. This very present network in the Indico innovated in Seychelles when it built an 8-hole golf course, preserving nature and doing almost a miracle for such a small area on Praslin Island. That is why Constance Lemuria, the only hotel on all the islands to offer this kind of activity, has become a benchmark for daring and attracts countless Europeans who seek to combine the experience of their favorite sport and paradisiacal beaches. The Hotel also engages guests with the preservation of sea turtles another activity in high and though luxurious has a decoration with local art objects and artists from Africa that give warm air with authenticity to the place.
Today the tourist does not simply seek to travel, Helena comments, he seeks a life experience, something to keep in mind. “Authenticity” and “affordable luxury” are ultimately terms that define in a general way all these movements of today’s tourism.