Hotels are considered an important part of the travel experience, and are often perceived by travellers as being pillars of the community, connecting guests - whether from abroad or locally - to the true character of the destination, according to the second edition of the Luxury Insights Report from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

Luxury travelers view the role of a hotel beyond curating authentic local experiences. It is the combination of destination expertise and recreating the comforts of home that creates this trusted relationship and positions the most desirable hotels in the world at the very heart of the travel experience.

The study reveals that guests look to luxury hotels as a key aspect of their travel experience. The influence of hotels goes beyond the traditional expectation of having a place to sleep at night, with guests looking to hotels to provide immersive experiences that are sustainably viable and meet the needs of their entire family.

Among the key highlights from the report:

  • Exclusive experiences
    Travellers prioritize experiences over brands, with two out of three considering it important to have experiences not readily available to everyone (65%).
  • Destination insiders
    89% of those surveyed said that the best hotels have colleagues that are familiar with the area and can provide the inside scoop on things only the locals know.
  • The hotel factor
    93% of luxury travellers consider the hotel an important part of the vacation experience - so much so that over half (59%) feel that hotel options influence their choice of destination.
  • Generation green
    84% of respondents consider it important that the hotel provides recommendations of experiences that are not detrimental to the local community. Guests recognise over-tourism as a growing concern and that changes need to be made if the beauty that attracts them to worldwide destinations is going to last. Travellers look to luxury hotels to help drive change that is positive and sustainable.
  • No flight required
    Luxury hotels are not just for the jet-set. For 77%, these remarkable properties provide a memorable option for social and business occasions in their hometown. As pillars in their communities, locals seek these institutions to celebrate momentous occasions and create family traditions.
  • Community connection
    seasoned travellers understand the impact of tourism within a destination. Four out of five think environmentally sustainable practices and locally sourced kitchen ingredients are important.

"Today's luxury traveler - although not at home - does not want to sacrifice the comforts of home," explained Blake Morgan, Customer Experience Futurist. "The millennial customer values access over ownership. They crave authentic experiences they can share with their friends and curate the narrative of their digital lives."

"Multigenerational travel continues to grow as families today are busier and living further away from each other. Travel has become the best way to spend quality time together," added Keith Baron, President, Abercrombie & Kent USA. "The very definition of luxury is changing. It is much more about the luxury of experience, rather than just thread count. It's no longer only about having the top suite in a hotel, flying first-class or dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. It is increasingly about privacy, exclusivity and customisation. Today's most compelling luxury hotels embody the character of a destination through their history and style, combining distinctive architecture with expressive decor and artistry. Each of these hotels is true to its place and its traditions, incorporating elements of the past and reflecting the local culture."

The full Fairmont Luxury Insights Report has been made available for free download from Fairmont's web site, here: