The industry disruptor on three trends that will shape the future of travel in Asia
Brought to you by Further East
Over the last 10 years, Serge Dive has redefined luxury travel, taking his perspective-shifting events across the globe from Marrakech to Miami. His latest venture, Further East, hit Bali in November 2018, aiming to celebrating Asia’s rich heritage and powerful future.
Here, Dive shares his perspectives on the future of luxury travel in Asia – and how he believes hospitality professionals can tap into the trends shaping our ever-changing industry.
Authenticity is your greatest asset
“Everyone is building in Asia. But (luxury travellers) want to discover the real, fascinating Asia,” Dive warns. Globalisation is problematic for hotels and native brands, who risk losing their authenticity. “I think that the greatest challenge is to resist the temptation of globalisation that will dilute your brand’s identity – and embrace your uniqueness,” he advises.
“What Asia now needs to do now is truly capitalise on its assets – to cherish and display its traditions to international customers, while inventing its own future,” he advises. This belief underpins Dive’s long-term strategy for Further East. “We believe that Asian products should be displayed in a truly strong, Asian context, rather than at generic travel trade fairs that are potentially destructive to brand equity.”
Look beyond tech (and into the past)
While many in the luxury travel industry are frantically finding ways to weave tech into every facet of their operations, Dive is less convinced.
“I am a huge skeptic when it comes to gimmicks – I think that VR and AI won’t be experiences in their own right; instead, they will help customers test travel products from their living room.” He also predicts that nostalgia, not tech, is the next trend set to disrupt the future of the travel industry in Asia. “I think we are actually returning to an analog way of travelling; nostalgia is returning because tastemakers are fed up of both tech and products born from globalisation.”
Life should be amplified – and optimised
Nostalgia aside, what is the next buzzword set to shape the travel industry? “I would choose two – amplified and optimised,” predicts Dive. “I think that luxury travel is the promise of a life optimised and amplified; optimised because we want be the best person we can be and do the best things we can out of the precious hours that we are on this planet. Amplified, because we want each of those hours to be as remarkable and memorable as possible.”
If the future of luxury travel in Asia resembles anything close to his vision for Further East, one thing is for certain – it will never be boring. From its oceanside location and holistic approach to its diverse guest list of iconic hospitality brands, it demonstrates a disarmingly different way to do business.