J.MAK Hospitality polled its top luxury travel partners around the world for their insights on how travel will change in 2022. Representing some of the world’s finest luxury boutique hotels, villa collections, destination management companies, and private aviation companies, J.MAK Hospitality has unique insight into traveler trends.
“Tough times spawned innovation for our luxury travel partners, many of whom saw their best sales years ever in 2020, which is pretty remarkable when you consider the limitations on travel,” says Jeff Sirota of J.MAK Hospitality.
“We found that for many of our iconic hotels and resorts, nothing could keep their loyal followings from returning, but travel businesses had to think on their feet, offering new outdoor activities, renovated dining spaces, and new ways of doing business amid supply-chain and staffing issues,” says Jon Makhmaltchi. “We are in a new normal now, and our partners who rethought the way they did business have really thrived, exceeding the expectations of their guests.”
The following are travel projections from J.MAK Hospitality partners on what’s to come in luxury travel in 2022.
Earlier Booking Windows
“We’re expecting an earlier booking window this year,” says Lisbeth K. Yori, Senior Sales Manager at Cliff House Maine. “Last year, we were almost fully committed for the summer by April/May. We anticipate that those who couldn’t get in last year will book earlier for 2022 to ensure availability – and we recommend it!”
Fewer, Better Trips
“People who used to travel first class four times a year are now traveling private twice a year,” says Robert Gilbert, Senior Account Manager for Flewber private aviation. “We’re seeing an increase of new-to-private clients up 20 percent. We find clients are willing to spend more because they value their safety, convenience and comfort,” says Flewber Senior Vice President, Thane Gaves.
“With cost increases across the board on all fronts, people will be expecting the very best and the experience has to be commensurate with the pricing,” Michael B. Hoffmann, Managing Director, Perry Cabin Resorts & Golf. “Yet, issues in the supply chain and the limited availability of even the basics, is requiring us to pivot, constantly. The benefit to the customer is that what they are getting is high quality, super fresh and ever changing.”
Better Rooms, Longer Stays
“We have new residential-style suites with kitchenettes at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, and we saw many guests staying in these, and our other higher-category rooms, for longer stays of weeks to months at a time,” says Philipp Kneupfer, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Boston.
Domestic Travelers Returning
“We had many new domestic visitors this year, people who normally would have traveled to farther flung locations, but came and loved their visit, and the ease of domestic travel. Many of them booked ahead for 2022, even before leaving the resort!” says Katherine Hawk, Leisure Sales Manager at Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod.
Exclusive, On-Site Experiences
“The popularity of exclusive, private properties has increased due to COVID,” says Natalie Cobb, Sales & Marketing Manager for Beaverbrook, a historic estate hotel in the Surrey Hills outside of London. “Guests are looking for more than just a room, they’re looking for activities, top-end spa experiences and dining experiences that offer something spectacular and out-of-the-norm.”
Booking Activities In Advance
“We’re seeing demand increasing so it’s becoming important to book dining and resort activities in advance to guarantee the availability of preferred times,” says Tim Cartwright, Director of Leisure Sales at Edgewood Tahoe Resort. “Travel into 2022 requires more detailed itinerary planning.”
Americans Return To France En Masse
“Since France reopened to tourists in summer 2021 we have seen a massive return of American guests,” says Nicolas Egloff, Director of Sales & Marketing at Relais Christine and Saint James Paris, “and unless there is another closure of borders due to COVID this will probably remain through 2022. We have received inquiries for fall already, and a lot of advance bookings.”
Emphasis On Outdoor Continues
“We invested in adding more gardens and outdoor spaces for guests to enjoy last year,” says Theodoris Dactilidis of Mykonos Riviera Hotel and Spa. “We think guests will continue to value fresh-air options in 2022, and beyond.”
Last-Minute Changes, The New Norm
“Last year, we saw more changes to bookings and we expect that to continue in 2022 as the rules and restrictions around traveling continue to shift,” says Manola Fresta, the Senior Director of Sales and Revenue at Lefay Resorts.
“We were used to Americans and Australians booking six months out but that changed last year,” said Christos Ckekas, Founder of the Blue Villas collection, “we were busy with last-minute bookings throughout the summer.”
About J.MAK Hospitality
J.MAK Hospitality (www.jmak.com) works alongside leading luxury hotels and residences, destination experts and travel services around the world to connect them with key travel agency partners and broader audiences who will impact their businesses and drive awareness. We focus on hospitality brands with personality, and help each client to articulate their individual flair, so they can relax, feel confident and authentically stand out.