Luxury vacation rental platform predicts rise in high-end travel

George Sell By George Sell
16 May 2017 | Updated 16 May 2017

UK: Edge Retreats, a former travel blog, has reinvented itself as a luxury vacation platform with “a collection of the world’s best villas".

The company says the luxury travel sector is showing significant growth, with the increase in outbound luxury trips projected to rise by 6.2 per cent over the next ten years, almost a third greater than overall travel at 4.8 per cent.

Edge Retreats describes it self as "curators of the ultimate villa experiences around the world, who cater for high-net-worths ranging from supermodels to sheikhs".

Originally conceived as a luxury travel blog, founder and CEO Luke McCormick raised over $2 million to establish Edge Retreats, offering a collection of villas with prices starting from £10,000 per week and rising to more than £500,000. Its collection ranges from private islands owned by Marlon Brando and Richard Branson to Brigitte Bardot's former home on the French Riviera.
In 2017, Edge Retreats says it has seen a steep increase in demand for ultra-luxury villas, with business growing at a compound monthly growth rate of 30 per cent this year. Company data also shows that average enquiry values have more than doubled in the space of 15 months.
McCormick said: "Driving this growth is a clear trend toward enriching and experiential travel experiences vs. simply obtaining material goods. Our clients now expect insider access to exclusive, one-off experiences. For example - at one of our properties in South Africa a renowned astronomer will visit for the evening to conduct a stargazing tour of the night sky using a research-grade observatory."
North America and Western Europe currently account for 64 per cent of the world's luxury outbound trips, despite only making up 18 per cent of the global population. This is consistent with Edge Retreats' booking data, which shows that the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Nordics consistently outperform other source markets. 
McCormick said: "Europe will continue to grow steadily until 2025, but Asia Pacific's luxury travel market will see the fastest overall growth."

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