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How Thirst for Authenticity Is Shaping Luxury Travel

Nancy J. Friedman

On March 2, I presented "How Thirst for Authenticity Is Shaping Luxury Travel" to the International Luxury Hotel Association in Rovinj, Croatia. Since this was the second day of the conference, I was probably the eighth speaker to mention or focus on authenticity as a driving force for today's hoteliers and travelers alike. Clearly, this is an important trend. 

Fortunately, I had a few great client examples and research to back this up.

Travelers, from Millennials to Boomers, prefer experiences to things. We have applied this preference to some of the programming instituted in a number of client properties. Here are a couple of instances where authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences enhanced the client’s overall appeal with guests.

At Sea Island in Georgia, we arranged for the bagpiper who used to perform at sunset on the renowned golf course to offer private bagpipe lessons. By the way, bagpipes are NOT easy to play!  

Also not easy? A pro football player’s workout. We engaged NFL superstar Randy Moss to lead a fitness boot camp at BodyHoliday Resort St. Lucia. It was physically demanding but also rewarding. Even better was the ability to "brag" or show off this once-in-a-lifetime experience via social media!

Jogging on the beach

Ultimately, we are all chasing memories – the most valuable asset we have to sell.

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