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How luxury travel magazines will respond to the recession

By Sean O'Neill
updated February 21, 2017

"The Rich Also Cry" was the title of a popular Mexican telenovela. But the same expression could be applied today. Many wealthy people aren't spending $1,000-a-night on hotel rooms anymore because someone has Madoff with their money. So what will luxury travel magazine write about in 2009?

A likely answer came recently in the resort town of Cannes, France, where a panel discussion explored the next theme in luxury travel, according to The Huffington Post.

Expect the emphasis of magazine articles, TV shows, and tourism commercials to be on "mindful spending" and "affluent activism." The forecasting company FutureLabs predicts we'll all be seeing more stories about wealthy city-dwellers who choose products "because of their social, ethical, and environmental effects." Look to see more trips with lessons on spirituality in other cultures, more bonding trips (mother-daughter, college buddy weekends, etc), yoga retreats, and voluntourism. When the media discusses luxury products, the focus will be on showing you how a product is friendly to the environment or to laborers.

The forecasting firm TrendWatching predicts we'll be seeing more "status stories." Bet on seeing fewer gift guides that include $10,000 watches and instead seeing more stories about how you can teach English overseas.

While magazines like Conde Nast Traveler have run stories on these topics in the past, you'll probably see more of them "as these types of stories have less to do with money and more to do with motivation and values."

Yoga is also likely to be a theme. As many as 17 million Americans say they have practiced yoga in the past year, and more than $3 billion in yoga-related gear and clothing is expected to be sold this year.

The good news for budget-conscious travelers is that having a memorable, engaged experience has always been a key theme. Budget travelers have been doing it for years. Unlike people who shield themselves from experiencing the local culture up-close-and-personal by staying in generic four-star hotels, budget-conscious travelers aren't afraid to ask for travel advice from locals, to stay in independently-owned lodging, or to practice eating like a local.

What do you think will be the big trend of 2009…for all kinds of travelers?

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