Bettenburg am Ballermann or rather Strandlodge in the Maldives – Mr. Johnson, you as a travel expert must know: What are the most important travel trends for 2023?One important travel trend is the growing preference of travelers for private accommodation instead of traditional hotels, which also leads to a desire for more Reflecting seclusion and personalized experiences. Confined to their homes during the pandemic, people are now craving personal space and the opportunity to explore off-the-beaten-track destinations.

So instead of throwing themselves back into the crowds after years in which social life was only possible to a limited extent, people still prefer a kind of isolation light? The trend is towards exclusivity. In other words, retreats that also offer the comfort of home: private rentals such as villas or holiday homes. Package deals are no longer attractive.

You spoke of personalized experiences. What do you mean by that? Travelers are no longer satisfied with passive sightseeing, but want to engage with their travel destination on a deeper level. Adventure travel is becoming increasingly important. This may mean participating in cultural activities, going on adventure trips, or volunteering for local causes. They are looking for transformative experiences that allow them to connect with the local culture, environment and community. This shift reflects a growing awareness of the positive impact travel can have on both personal development and the communities visited.

First the pandemic, then the Ukraine war, the energy crisis, inflation. Many people now have to calculate more precisely in order to make ends meet with their salary. Nevertheless, according to an evaluation by the tour operator Dertour, at least the Germans are currently spending even more money on travel than they used to. Instead of cheap travel, they are increasingly opting for luxury. Can you explain this development? The pandemic and subsequent global events have indeed brought economic challenges to many. But luxury travel isn’t necessarily reserved for the super-rich. There are different degrees of luxury. Both accommodation and activities can be tailored to different budgets and preferences.

Where does this new generosity in travel come from?The fact that Germans, among others, spend more on luxury travel can be attributed to various factors.On the one hand, after the restrictions, people are willing to invest in unique experiences. In addition, increasing emphasis is placed on wellness and self-care.

It is said that there is a trend towards more comfort, preferably all-inclusive luxury – i.e. towards decadent package tours. Increasingly, however, it is now also going further afield to more exclusive places such as Dubai and the Maldives. Places that celebrities and influencers in particular have recently made more and more known via social media. Is vacationing in such luxury locations developing into a kind of status symbol? Do you have to go there to be en vogue? The availability of information via online platforms, social media and travel blogs have played an important role in the development of travel trends. The pictures and stories make you want to have such experiences yourself. But the appeal of luxury resorts goes beyond mere status symbols. While visiting such resorts may seem en vogue, the main motivation for travelers is usually the desire for an unforgettable experience that exceeds their expectations.

Luxury is not the same as luxury. Even if, according to evaluations, many travelers are currently switching to higher hotel categories and, for example, prefer five-star hotels instead of three, this has nothing to do with so-called luxury resorts. Luxury resorts are not for everyone, they are for the financially better off. What’s so special about these resorts? You’re absolutely right that luxury doesn’t equal luxury. Luxury resorts cater to a specific segment of travelers seeking the ultimate in opulence and exclusivity. Offering a wide range of amenities, these resorts often pride themselves on their location and attention to detail in every aspect of their design and service. Access to such higher quality experiences and competition in the market will inevitably mean that inferior products/projects will have to reach a higher standard to be competitive or they will not survive. There’s a saying, “Rising tide lifts all boats”.

However, according to a recent analysis by Skyscanner, countries such as Turkey and Spain are still among the most popular travel destinations for Germans – i.e. very classic (cheap) package holiday countries. Does the discrepancy between luxury resorts and package holidays simply reflect social divisions? The popularity of traditional package holiday countries such as Turkey and Spain among Germans is not necessarily a sign of social divisions. Even though luxury travel is on the rise, that doesn’t mean budget vacation packages are losing their appeal. Travel preferences can vary greatly based on budget, personal interests, and desired experiences. Many people still appreciate the convenience and affordability of these destinations, especially for shorter trips or family vacations. Holidays with family and loved ones is another travel trend.

Oh yes? The pandemic has reminded us how important relationships are. People are looking for ways to create meaningful memories and strengthen bonds with their families. This has led to an increase in multi-generational travel and thereby increased demand for accommodation that can comfortably accommodate larger groups.

Together with your brother, you founded a sustainable luxury resort in Costa Rica and have won countless awards for the concept. How is your place different from traditional hotel holidays?One of our key differentiators is our commitment to sustainable luxury and environmental stewardship. We value minimizing our environmental footprint and promoting responsible tourism practices. Our villas are located where the jungle meets the sea, with direct access to pristine beaches. The biodiversity of the region can be observed directly from the villa and often also from the balcony. The property is home to an abundance of wildlife including three species of monkeys, two species of sloths, scarlet macaws, toucans, pacas and over 200 species of birds. But what really sets us apart is our incredible staff, who personally take care of every detail of your stay.

But that also costs. Seven Days of Christmas at the Mansion in Manuel Antonio costs $65,450. 10 to 30 people can stay in it, so it costs between 2181 and 6545 dollars per person. Who can afford this? Although the cost per person may seem significant at first glance, it is important to consider value for money. Reflecting the exclusivity, privacy and exceptional level of service, rates include not only luxurious accommodations, but also personal concierge service, complimentary gourmet meals prepared by a private chef, select activities and more amenities. If you split the cost among a group of 10 to 30 people, the price per person is on par with luxury hotels, but with the added benefit of privacy.

However, not everyone can afford it. After all, is it only the so-called rich and famous who come to you? Our guests are discerning travelers who appreciate the finer things in life and value authenticity, sustainability and a deep appreciation for the beauty of Costa Rica – underneath were executives, entrepreneurs, professionals, politicians and even royal guests!