About Diane, “My name is Diane Martin and I am nineteen years old. Originally from France, I came to Switzerland to pursue my dream and start a career in Hospitality. I am currently enrolled in a BBA in Global Hospitality Management at Les Roches Switzerland. My main aim for the future is to work in the development of green tourism.”
EP proudly provides a platform for the thoughts and voices of the future leaders of the Hospitality industry.
What do new generations perceive as ‘luxury’?
Luxury is an industry which is constantly evolving. Therefore, it always has to find ways to redefine itself to keep attracting the next generations.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, and several lockdowns having a massive impact on people’s lives and priorities, individuals realised what they treasured, what was essential to them and what was superficial. They also realised what they truly perceived as luxury.
“Overabundance, what is beyond necessary, superfluity” is how luxus was originally defined in Latin. Therefore, the expression of luxury was about quantity. Owning and purchasing countless amounts of objects, clothes, food and other ítems which were not necessary was a sign of luxury and success.
In the hospitality industry, this took the form of extensive menus, immense buffets, numerous amenities, and also an excess in facilities (every luxurious hotel had to have a gym, a spa, several pools, a terrace, a garden etc). It was a luxury of abundance.
Nowadays, quantity-based luxury is being replaced by quality-based luxury. Indeed, because of overconsumption tendencies, quantity is not a sign of luxury anymore. It has actually become quite the opposite. People consume in quantity products which they do not need, in turn forgetting about the quality.
We can realise this with the growth of ‘fast fashion’, for instance: where we see brands choosing to propose new collections every week instead of perfecting one for each season resulting in products of a low quality. Therefore, luxury now represents what is qualitative since this is what is becoming rarer.
This tendency of valuing quality has become even more important after the pandemic. Indeed, people realised that this life of abundance was not a prosperous lifestyle and could no longer exist. People realised how much they depended on other countries, especially regarding basic necessities. Eating local and quality meals is luxury. Moreover, people understood how important their social life was: having true relationships and human contacts are fundamental. People became aware of the problem of their current lifestyle and now want to improve their quality of life.
When it comes to the new generations’ perception of quality, it is not something material. The outside (quality of the product) is important but not as much as the journey they are going to go through (how the product is going to be delivered). They want to live a memorable experience. To do so, they need to be considered as individual identities and receive a personalised and dedicated service.
Human beings serving human beings. The products customers are looking for have to be of a meaningful value. That is to say, people enjoy the history behind the products: where it was made, by who and how. Luxury is about more than just a service or a product and no longer many services or products.
To conclude, luxury has became the expression of a qualitative service opposing quantitative services. Quality of the products is indeed primordial. For new generations, it is the result of local and fair sourcing and noble materials. I believe that it is a positive change in society since it brings back people to the essential and it celebrates and encourages people who invest and take time to produce qualitative services and products.
In addition, customers want to create genuine and sincere relationships with the staff. Not only does the quality matter to new generations, but also how the product is going to be delivered. Therefore, if you want the most significant impact on your customers, you have to create memorable souvenirs with them.
Diane Martin is a BBA Global Hospitality Management student at Les Roches.