Tourism Opinion South Africa

Demystifying luxury tourism: A case study on Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa

Luxury tourism is being redefined just like every aspect of the hospitality industry. Beyond the world of first-class flights to the coast of Kenya and the palatial beach resorts previously experienced by an older, wealthier generation, luxury tourism has evolved to include a younger generation in the rising middle class.
Image Supplied.
Image Supplied.

So how do the affluent beach resorts maintain the exclusivity and top-notch services while catering to the needs of a mushrooming, well-off population?

Types of luxury travellers

A no-brainer for every hotel sales manager is that no two tourists are alike albeit the similarities in demographics in many studies. Though this is not an exhaustive list, you may find yourself as a blend of these five types of luxury tourists.

Reward hunters

These tourists are ever hunting for discounts, travelling low-season when prices are low, and on the look-out for the slightest opportunity to take advantage of their credit card reward system. Diani Reef Resort is currently offering a promotional rate; a 58% discount on a non-refundable rate. So, if you are a reward hunter, book your train tickets and grab on this opportunity too good to miss out on!

YOLO hunters

"You Only Live Once" formed the acronym of the decade; YOLO! These luxury tourists spend months saving to splurge on the finest their efforts and money can afford them.

A reservation at the junior suite, a bottle of champagne, spa treatments and whatever is the hardest to pronounce on the menu in any of the three restaurants at Diani Reef Resort. While at it, throw in an excursion to Wasini Island, Jet skiing and a skydiving trip.

Experiential hunters

A category I proudly belong to, experiential tourists seek to authentically connect with local cultures in measured consumerism. Simply put, experiential travel is luxury tourism with substance.

Exclusive and enriched experiences are key and as such, we enjoy the do-it-yourself (DIY) platforms such as Jumia Travel to plan every single step of the luxury vacation. Low season is the best time to travel as we get to relish the conversations with the personnel, be drawn into the local community way of life without the masses taking pictures and savour every Swahili dish that can’t be made at home. Surprisingly, most experiential luxury tourists are introverted people with an eye to detail that only luxury resorts such as Diani Reef can meet.

Goal hunters

Business voyaging and the occasional events such as beach weddings and corporate conferences see guests that check-in to accomplish a goal and they’ll be off on their way after a two-night stay. Diani Beach Resort is certainly a preferred luxury hotel for travellers with obligations to meet.

The five conference rooms and a beach that can be decorated to suit a picturesque venue for nuptials are a unique selling point.


They are the toughest nut to crack with an expectations list that is longer than the reef in Diani. They just don’t fly into Diani, they take the 1st class flight with the best of airlines. Limousine pick-up from Ukunda and their room is the Penthouse Suite with views of the ocean, pool, and garden yet secluded and secure to ensure privacy.

Traditionalists have an ostentatious display of wealth, therefore, demanding highly customized services. For such guests, Diani Reef Resort puts at their disposition a personal chef who can produce Michelin star rated meals, a professional masseuse and personalized outings.

Understanding the needs of each hotel guest is the innate ability that the management of Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa has mastered. Luxury tourism is defined differently by each of the guests at the resort. Moreover, the hotel adapts to changing needs of each individual in the duration of their stay.

Which luxury traveller are you?

About Josephine Wawira

Josephine Wawira is a consultant in communication and public relations with over six years of progressive writing and broadcast experience. She is currently a writer for Africa's online hotel booking portal, Jumia Travel, focusing in the areas of travel, tourism, and hospitality as it relates to Africa.

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