Luxury Travel Insights with Wilson Chen

DELUXETARGETS and Emerging Trends in the Industry

Wilson Chen from DELUXETARGETS shares his insights into the luxury travel business, popular destinations for clients, emerging trends in luxury travel, standout products showcased at Private Luxury Dubai, and the value of networking opportunities at the event.

Tell us about your business, how it started, and where you operate

DELUXETARGETS is a prestigious Swiss luxury travel agency, founded by Mr. Guido Graf in 2001 in Teufen, Switzerland. We’re proud to be a Consortia Preferred Partner for Virtuoso, and a selection of luxury hotels.

As Managing Director of Asia Pacific, I lead our efforts to cater to the elite in Chinese-speaking countries. On behalf of DELUXETARGETS, I pioneered the establishment of a regional office in Shanghai and orchestrated a network of remote luxury travel consultants in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Gold Coast, dedicating our expertise to serving the high-end clientele within the global Chinese-speaking community.

At the heart of our success as a leading luxury travel service provider is our unparalleled team of travel consultants, whose expertise enables us to broaden our horizons across multiple travel sectors.

Which destinations are most popular for your clients, and are there any new experiences they have expressed interest in?

Understanding the travel preferences of our Mainland Chinese customers requires an appreciation of key insights. The need for a visa or e-visa for most international destinations, such as Europe’s Schengen area or the US, is an important consideration before travelling.

With statutory annual leave limited to 5-15 days, supplemented by around 17 days of public holidays, Chinese travellers tend to travel during these breaks, especially during major festivals such as Chinese New Year in February, Labour Day in May, and National Day in October. As a result, there’s a strong preference for visa-free destinations such as the Maldives, Thailand, and Morocco, as well as a growing interest in European excursions.
Interview Wilson Chen-Morocco

How do you stay ahead of the curve, and what emerging trends in luxury travel have you observed that are likely to shape the industry in the coming year or beyond?

As a leading luxury travel professional services company, I believe that the most critical factor is the company’s travel consultant talent resources. Having expert travel consultants allows the company to expand its client base and products in different travel sectors.

The evolving preferences of younger Chinese tourists are also reshaping traditional travel stereotypes, moving beyond mere shopping sprees and city hopping. This demographic values aesthetically-pleasing hotels and seeks to share their travel experiences through vibrant videos and images on popular social platforms such as Instagram, TikTok or Xiaohongshu (China’s famous social media platform), highlighting a shift towards more immersive and visually appealing travel narratives.

Which specific destinations or products showcased at PL Dubai have captured your interest the most, and how do they align with current client preferences?

W Miami South Beach, showcased at Private Luxury Dubai, stands out as a beacon of luxury lifestyle and design innovation in the Miami area, especially after its transformative $30 million renovation. This renovation has catapulted it to the forefront of the W hotel brand, especially among young, trendsetting consumers. The appeal, I believe, lies in its exclusive, suite-only accommodations, each with a terrace or balcony. These expansive spaces, accentuated by the thoughtful use of white space, provide an unparalleled canvas for guests to curate their living experiences.
Second, The Mall Luxury Outlets from Italy will open in Florence, Italy, and Sanremo, France, as outlet stores dedicated to luxury goods. The Mall Luxury Outlets is not only a shopping destination, but also offers Virtuoso customers a unique shopping experience: Gucci Skip the Line, one-stop tax refund service, VIP lounge, and food and beverage tastings.

Image credit: W South Beach

How have the networking opportunities at this event influenced your decision to collaborate with a particular exhibitor?

As this is my first time attending a Private Luxury event, my approach to selecting exhibitors is twofold. Firstly, I look for new products or destinations beyond my current area of expertise to broaden my horizons. Secondly, I delve into understanding the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) associated with exhibitors through in-depth communication, a decision-making process, and enriching my strategic perspective.

What is the standout element of Private Luxury for you, and how does this event add value to your role in curating travel experiences for your clients?

The special feature of Private Luxury is the event experience, which, unlike most travel trade shows, allows exhibitors and buyers to gain in-depth knowledge of local products. As a luxury travel agency, getting to experience first-hand the offerings that local DMCs have to offer goes a long way in increasing my knowledge of the region as a luxury holiday destination and having recommendations to pass on to my clients.
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