Sonia Cheng, Rosewood Hotel Group
It’s not unexpected but travelers are more sophisticated and they are no longer looking for physical extravagance at the luxury level. They’re looking more for a personal experience and someone attending to every detail of their stay. That is what they’re expecting walking into a luxury hotel right now.
Traditional luxury was all about material goods, living a life of comfort, which was characterized by collecting material goods on the wall. I go to China and I buy a vase. I go to the Middle East and I buy a carpet.
Those needs and values haven’t disappeared but luxury is changing rapidly. We hear a lot about experiential travel and that’s what people are doing. Guests today define themselves by what they have experienced versus what they have bought.