LOVE IS IN THE AIR

How and why romance travel is taking on growing importance

ROMANCE TRAVEL IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST SECTORS OF ALL IN TERMS OF LUXURY TRAVEL.

Romance travel isn’t limited to your typical overseas engagements, weddings and honeymoons. There are mini-moons, baby-moons and even silver- moons now on the scene, as more and more couples find a reason to pack their bags and seek new experiences together. As Richard Barnes, CEO, Amour organises global networking events in the sector, we asked him how he sees it progressing over time.

One of the things I find most surprising when talking to industry professionals about romance travel is hearing it referred to as a niche market. Romance travel isn’t niche. Romance travel is one of the biggest drivers of travel today. In fact, we are seeing more of our buyers reporting that their wedding and honeymoon bookings are representing a much higher proportion of their business portfolio than in previous years. Couple that with the fact that newlyweds are now spending approximately 10% of their annual salary on a post-wedding adventure, romance travel is one of the biggest sectors of all in terms of luxury travel.

What are travel agents looking for? What are the key trends?

There are three main trends that our private travel designers, travel agents and concierge companies look for in a partner.

INSPIRATION – seamlessly blending comfort and character into their offering. More often than not, personalisation and the little details make the most memorable experiences. The more bespoke and designed a programme is, the better.

UP-AND-COMING DESTINATIONS – travel designers are always on the lookout for the latest destinations in travel. Many of their clients are looking for the ‘non-touristy’ destinations that are off the beaten track but offer picturesque views.

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES FOR THEIR CLIENTS – working with passionate suppliers to deliver travel and hospitality offerings that connect travellers to inspiring, unforgettable experiences. These are the trend setters who can offer ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences lovers can cherish.

The great news is, because people generally have less time on their hands today, they are turning to travel curators, lifestyle management teams and concierge style companies to help manage their travel itineraries. Travel booking companies that leverage this, by putting together bespoke experiences and original packages, will come out on top.

Following on from Amour Europe in Monaco in March, which brought together over 300 global suppliers and buyers, another event is planned for Los Cabos, Mexico later this year.

From 13-16 November, Amour Americas will be held at Secrets Los Cabos, one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Carefully selected romance travel buyers and destination wedding planners from across North and South America are invited to build relationships with global suppliers through a unique programme of individual meetings and networking activities.


Photos: Richard Barnes, CEO, Amour