Insights

Is privacy the new ultimate luxury?

With safety and privacy at the forefront of travellers’ minds, the future of travel could forever change.

From the growing demand for private jet travel and chauffeured door-to-door services spanning destinations in near total seclusion to luxury hotels and private villas offering greater sanctuary than ever before, exploring the world in unparalleled privacy could be a transformative step forward.

So how to embrace a hyper-private mode mindset and where will it take us in the future?

Getting off the grid

Perhaps no form of travel personifies escapism more than air travel. And the aviation industry is leading the way in terms of new travel concepts that have privacy at their heart. 

“Before, you had many people who could afford to fly privately but instead flew commercially,” said Ryan Waguespack, senior vice president of the National Air Transportation Association. “They viewed it as a luxury they didn’t need. Now, many see it as the essential way to travel because of the safety it offers.”

The safety aspect is clear but the convenience and seclusion that private flight offers too are undeniable benefits. In fact, most private jet companies noted an increase in business in 2020. And, as CNBC reported last year, prices for certain flights are now 30% to 50% cheaper than they were the previous year, bringing private-jet tickets closer in line with first-class or business-class seats.

“We are registering a 27% Year on Year increase in bookings over the past three weeks alone,” said Bernhard Fragner in March 2020, CEO of GlobeAir, Europe’s leading private jet charter operator. According to a report by GlobeAir, passengers travelling by private jet have a 30 times lower risk of contagion than if they were to fly commercial.

Concepts such as jetpooling – sharing the cost of a private jet with people you know rather than braving the uncertainties of commercial travel if you’re not chartering on your own – have seen significant growth over the last year too. So much so, that referral/invitation-only London-based Minerva Private Travel & Lifestyle Management are now offering private jet shares for the first time.

Another rising trend that brings a previously unforeseen degree of seclusion has been the sale of prepaid cards that offer just a limited number of hours flying – around 10 or more hours. Distant are the days when to fly privately you had to own the plane or own a fractional interest in one – this concept has brought more people (often those with a slightly lower net worth) into the market who find they can fly in privacy for leisure as well as business trips.

From the very first minute

The private mindset isn’t just limited to the skies, however. 

The convenience of travelling in total privacy can now begin from the very first minute of your journey.

With professional chauffeurs able to pick you up at your front door in a high-end car of choice, you can avoid crowds and enjoy safe travel between destinations in a fully private space with the finest onboard entertainment. 

Whether it’s from Los Angeles to San Francisco or even New York to Miami, long-distance services allow clients to save time by skipping airports or train stations and instead enjoy a seamless door-to-door pick-up and drop-off — no change of transportation needed.

“Buyers are now proposing travellers consider ground transportation for longer trips,” said Neil Hammond, partner with business travel consultancy GoldSpring Consulting.

“Generally we find that for a 200-mile trip, people would rather fly than drive, but now people may realise driving is more efficient, and some of this change could be here to stay. They are equally as worried about disruption and delay as catching the virus. With roads less congested, driving offers a better option.”

With world-leading services such as ROLZO taking convenience and privacy to an entirely new level, this mode of travel could see exponential growth in the coming years.

The hyper-private mindset is ultimately about a change of scene and finding a safe haven. But, what do those secluded safe havens look like?

Finding your sanctuary

“While people are eager to get back to traveling, physical distancing will not go away immediately when restrictions lift; it’s now a mindset,” explained Misty Belles, Managing Director of Global Public Relations at luxury travel company Virtuoso.

“Villas and property buyouts are the perfect solution for those who want to travel, but still keep their distance from other guests,” continued Belles. “People are even taking over small boutique hotels.”

Take for example Sweet Bocas, a colourful self-sustainable villa that’s perched on stilts and surrounded by shimmering turquoise waters. Located on the Caribbean coast of Panama, the overwater home is only accessible by boat – perhaps another way of travel that may see greater traction in the coming years?

“Customers are now seeking more privacy as well as having exclusivity, when it comes to things like amenities and outdoor space,” says Rosella Beaugié of luxury villa company The Thinking Traveller. “Villa holidays are the ideal choice for these travellers because they offer more secluded and intimate settings while providing access to amenities and services typically offered by hotels (think: private chefs, housekeeping and wine tasting).”

As for hospitality in the city, the benefits of seclusion can be felt simply by renting out a private residence in a 5-star hotel managed property such as London’s One Denman Place. And with exceptional door-to-door services like ROLZO able to facilitate effortless travel like never before, the possibilities are endless.

With the option of a private flight and/or a chauffeured service taking you to your sanctuary, adopting a hyper-private mode mindset is a new art de vivre that will likely reshape the choices we make on how we travel for years to come. 

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