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The link between art and travel is one of the most exciting trends taking grip this year. Our boutique agency, one of the leading luxury travel PR companies, has been closely monitoring the hottest travel trends for more than two decades. We use this data to help inform our PR strategies.

Niche targeting and product differentiation is also important for making an impact in a saturated market. So, the trend for merging travel with art offers huge potential to achieve this.

A Marriage Of Art And Travel

Cross-marketing and promotions between travel professionals and the art world offer unique opportunities to set yourself aside from the competition and increase revenue.

We’re starting to see hotels, travel agencies, airports, galleries and museums collaborating on capturing the same demographic as each-other. A prime example of this in action is a branch of Paris’ famous Louvre which is opening in Abu Dhabi in just a few month’s time. It will provide countless possibilities for partnerships between the museum, travel agents and the city’s numerous luxury hotels.

And next year, Canada’s Groupe Germain Hospitalité’s public-private collaboration will see the expansion of Ottawa Art Gallery merged with a 120-room boutique hotel, theatre, screening room and apartments.

Meanwhile, renowned British street artist (and cunning self-promoter with a cult-like following), Banksy, recently opened a controversial dystopian hotel in Bethlehem, the Walled Off Hotel. It follows the opening of his dystopian art exhibition/theme park, Dismaland, which made $30 million during its first year of opening.

The Importance Of Being Art-Savvy

Our luxury lifestyle and travel public relations agency has been observing the surge in the number of hotels opening up as galleries or museums where you can stay, such as the American Museum of Natural History’s ‘A Night at the Museum’ sleepover packages, or hotels positioning themselves as art galleries. As such, I’m advising travel entities to be aware of the importance of being in the know about art as well as their destinations.

Luxury Demographic Spends Big On Art And Travel

The trend for blending hotels and art is particularly strong in the luxury sector, which our travel public relations firm has noted. This demographic typically spends a large amount of its disposable income on art or travel. As such, travel entities such as luxury tour companies and art galleries are often serving the same clientele.

 “A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give it weight in one’s life. There is an urge to say, ‘I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.” — Philosopher Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

Art inspires travel, and travel inspires art. The emotion you feel when you view a photography exhibition of verdant Irish landscapes; the surge of excitement you get from seeing relics from an Egyptian tomb in a museum; this is the feeling that inspires you to travel.

In turn, travelers want aspects of art to be woven into their vacations. We have been observing the trend for travelers thirsty for immersion in authentic experiences that go deeper than the average – and often there’s a strong theme surrounding art.

Let’s take Palm Beach Travel in Florida as a case study. Owner Annie Davis opened the luxury travel agency in 2012. Last October she expanded her business to a prime location in the Plaza del Mar shopping center. She had more space than she needed and decided to sublet some of it to Sheila Payne, owner of Sheila Payne Art, whose gallery was originally located next to the agency.

They shared the same clients, who all had disposable funds of $10,000 or more. When Sheila suddenly passed away, she left the gallery to Annie, who decided to keep the open-plan space between the gallery and the travel agency open. She even hired an art director to help identify the artwork, much of which is travel-related.

The model seems to be working. Annie is intrigued with the link between art and travel and has gone on to curate the public art of several hotels, an airport and an airport lounge.

With so many opportunities to create a unique product and travel experience, I predict this trend will be sticking around for some time.