The Walpole Future of British Luxury Summit takes place on Monday 6th September at The Londoner, in association with Facebook, ESW and TONG.
Why are you taking part in the Walpole Summit?
The opportunity to network in person again and hear how members have dealt with the past year. I’m looking forward to hearing about innovations and trends in our sector and strengthen our connections within the industry, so we can emerge better and stronger, together.
Can you give us a couple of the key insights you will share during the event?
The last year has taught us that the freedom to travel is not guaranteed and is, in fact, a privilege we often took for granted. The transformative power of travel is something that many have sorely missed but the pandemic has also impacted the way we’re looking to travel in the future. We’ve seen an increased demand for wellness experiences with clients wanting to use travel to nurture their mental and physical wellbeing. ‘Ed-venture’ holidays where families look for learning tools outside of the classroom is also key.
And of course, sustainability has to be at the forefront of all endeavours – something that has always been part of A&K’s DNA but represents a greater opportunity to engage with the younger ‘HENRY’ audience.
What do you see as the most important opportunities ahead for both your brand and the luxury sector?
As we emerge from the pandemic, many people have become far more aware of being ‘connected’ to the people, places, and spaces around them. From interior design to art collectibles, people are seeking connections with their heritage, culture, and passions. As a result, they are more willing to spend on those luxuries that deliver these connections and meaningful encounters and they want to experience them in the company of family and friends or other like-minded people.
That is at the heart of what we have always done and what we continue to deliver against – as luxury travel pioneers and with our unique network of offices around the globe we can curate and facilitate exclusive access and personalised experiences that are both memorable and meaningful.
What are some of the greatest challenges for the luxury sector or your brand?
2020 was a devastating year for the travel industry and we have a huge task ahead to build back. However, one positive we’re taking from it all is that it’s really shown consumers the benefit of trusting the experts, particularly where travel is concerned. We repatriated, we refunded, we rebooked and now we’re supporting people navigate through the minefield of regulations and requirements to start travelling again.
Our offices around the world have remained busy seeking out the newest and most exciting experiences and that is an ongoing challenge for luxury travel - to continue to develop new innovative ways of delivering trips at a level that meets the expectation of the HNW community.
In terms of challenges for the luxury sector – we know that the days where luxury was about material things are gone. Now it is about exclusivity and highly personalised, unique experiences. As global wealth grows, the demand ever increases, and we have to continually push the boundaries of creativity whilst also balancing the hand-crafted nature of what we do in an ‘age of instant gratification.’
Why are these events so important to you, your business and the sector as a whole?
We are always looking for new and exciting collaborations with like-minded partners that share our philosophy and enable us to create unique opportunities for our clients – it’s the reason we joined Walpole. Whilst we battle with the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for us to stick together as a sector and support each other. Collaborations and partnerships are pillars for renewal, and events like these, help provide the perfect platform in which each attendee can represent their brand and make those all-important connections to generate future collaborations.