Luxury Bloc in Prague was, as always a wow – one of its unique delights is meals and recovery spells in the former-monastery’s gorgeous and peaceful garden of MANDARIN ORIENTAL PRAGUE, above.
This year’s Luxury Bloc, 5-8 September, saw 60 out-of-region suppliers meeting 60 Central European travel buyers. What was interesting was that two suppliers Bvlgari (four hotels) and Maldives-based Joali (two resorts) rented hotel bedrooms that open to the larger inner garden and both removed hotel furnishings to theme their space accordingly: other big-name sellers included Trump and Virgin.
What were all the buyers looking for? Organiser Gabriela Markova says Indian Ocean was top of everyone’s shopping lists. Buyers were also searching for well-being, spirituality and private jets.
Two years ago, New York-based luxury commentator Daniel Levine was a speaker – virtually. This year he was a real speaker. He identifies as the three top trends in luxury, be it for travel or lifestyle generally, are human touch and personalisation, wellness and time.
When asked how far ahead he looks, he says that while other futurist might predict 100 years ahead he looks only five years hence. He already knows, for instance, that whereas in the past a hotel was a desirable fancier place than home but increasingly home is more and more fancy, so what are hotels going to do? Levine runs the Avant-Guide Institute, which claims to have thousands of KOLs or Influencers identifying trends (he call his troops ‘transformers’) and every Autumn the Institute holds a trend thinktank.
There wasn’t a lot of time to think off-piste during Luxury Bloc. There were two days of 20-minute meetings, computer-arranged, one-to-one products and buyers. Extracurricularly there was ample networking. One evening was a Vltava dinner cruise. Next Luxury Bloc is 4-7 September 2023, and before that Gabriela Markova launches Imperial, 27-30 March 2023, to introduce foreign buyers to new destinations in Central Europe. This new show will be at ANDAZ PRAGUE, whose GM is Doris Hecht.
Daniel Levine also organises events. Each autumn, the AGI Executive Trends Summit sounds like another effective and fun weekend of exploiting powerful trends and taking real steps to boost your bottom line.
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Let’s go back to Mandarin Oriental: