Welcome to the future of luxury travel

Hotels of the future will feature customisable rooms, virtual reality and bespoke wardrobes.

Meryl D'Souza June 27, 2016

A study in 2011 by San Francisco State University found that people who bought expensive products soon realised they would much rather have put their money towards a life experience instead.

The study, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, showed that people devalued a newly purchased product almost immediately, and even knew that a life experience would be more beneficial before they completed the transaction.

When you really sit to think about it, it makes sense. At the end of the day, when you’re old, wrinkly and sitting on your front porch, you’ll cherish your memories and not your arsenal of smartphones or limited-edition Yeezy sneakers

That study gives the luxury end of travel business a huge reason to celebrate. The luxury travel sector has grown by 48 per cent over a five-year period with the Middle East being the fastest growing outbound market in 2015.

With experts estimating those figures will only rise as times goes on, things are – in a good way – only going to get tougher for the hotel industry. But the onus of providing those memorable once-in-a-lifetime experiences to a throng of guests all-year round isn’t easy.

In a bid to outpace their rivals, InterContinental Hotels Group collaborated with Faith Popcorn, author, futurist and founder of the marketing and consulting firm BrainReserve, to put together luxury travel trend predictions for the next 70 years.

Here’s what the woman known as 'The Trend Oracle' claims will be the future of luxury travel:

Clanning experiences

Virtual Technology or VR will enable travellers to share luxury adventures in real-time with friends and family around the world, whether it be a safari in the Serengeti or a swim with extinct marine life. 

Customised wardrobes

Thanks to 3D printing of clothing, hotels will tie in with fashion brands to sponsor guests’ in-room wardrobes. Further, the wardrobes will be customised to suit personal taste based on online shopping habits, size and local weather conditions.

Virtual adventures

Guests will be provided with game-like environments for extreme, previously unattainable experiences, including living out dangerous scenarios in a safe environment.

Building down

With 70 per cent of the world’s population set to be urban by 2050, space itself will become a luxury. Hotels will build down to fit the landscape and even go underground if needed.

Immersive spaces

Virtual reality will evolve interior design so that it can be tailored to guests through holographic wall art and fully adjustable interiors.

World experiences

Different wings or rooms in hotels will be created to offer guests a taste of cultural experiences from different corners of the world.