travel: Luxury Escapes launches ‘Experiences’ platform for travellers in Asia

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 12, 2019.

Cameron Holland

Vasse Felix in Western Australia.

Hughes Airport Transfer.

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Luxury Escapes, one of the world’s fastest growing travel brands, has announced the launch of its new category-leading product, Experiences. Building on the e-commerce platform’s extensive partnerships with some of the world’s best known and loved travel brands, Experiences offers a curated collection of handpicked, in-destination activities, helping customers to add anything from a 12-course degustation dining experience at the world famous Vue de Monde in Melbourne to wine tasting, heli-tour and lunch in South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region and even a drive in a Ferrari through the streets of Barcelona for their next getaway.

Since launching in Australia in October 2013, Luxury Escapes has helped nearly 2.6 million travellers enjoy some of the world’s best holidays from an incredible collection of hotels and resort partners. Holiday packages from Luxury Escapes often include indulgent extras such as spa treatments, degustation dinners and VIP airport transfers — the things that can transform a trip into the holiday of a lifetime.

The launch of Luxury Escapes Experiences capitalises on macro market trends, with projected global spending on the experience economy to hit US$8 trillion by 2031. With travellers increasingly choosing to spend less on material goods and prioritising experiences, travel industry brands are well-placed to deliver more extensive local and customised experiences for travellers.

“With over 50% of our members naming ‘unique, personally curated experiences’ as the No 1 travel trend they were excited about, we knew we had a specific opportunity to build a product to deliver these once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” Luxury Escapes chief executive officer Cameron Holland (pic) says. “By creating a smarter way for travellers to immerse themselves in their destinations, we’re recognising that luxury is increasingly about personalisation and the opportunity to travel in a way that works for you.”

The official launch of Experiences comes after an early access period where customer purchases grew 220%, with destinations such as the Maldives, Fiji, Japan and Thailand, the most popular locations for Experiences so far.

“The Experiences economy is only going to get bigger, particularly in travel. We’ve already seen huge growth in experiential travel with our Tours business growing 40% year-on-year. The early success of Experiences is a testament to the trust our customers have in knowing that we personally try every local experience before we recommend it,” added Holland.