The 6th Edition of World Travel Market Africa has just taken place at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town.

It is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with existing suppliers and be updated on their service offerings, be introduced to new products, network with travel colleagues from around the world and listen to great cutting edge industry trends.

One talk that really stood out for me was by Anthony Berklich, founder of Inspired Citizen. In his talk on ‘Africa the Brand: Turning a continent into a profitable hyper local, luxury experience.’ He asked the question ‘What is Luxury?’

His definition of luxury and one which resonated deeply was the following:

Luxury, above all else, is a feeling. It’s not necessarily attributed to the cost of something. Nothing defines luxury like the feeling of being looked after – that your needs are anticipated. Everyone has the power to create a luxurious experience, one that sticks with your guest or customer forever. Cost has nothing to do with it.

(A bit like the old adage that you won’t remember what someone said but how they made you feel.)

I remember a couple of years back spending the night at Babylonstoren in one of their stylish cottages. Next to the deep Victorian bath was a natural loofah made from Fynbos and fresh herbs that had been gathered that morning and tied into a special little bouquet to use when bathing. The luxury and yet simplicity of that experience has stayed with me.

We have all heard the expression ‘hyper-reality’ especially in this digital social media age where everything looks more perfect, more wonderful, more real – but ‘hyper localism’ was a new expression to my ears.

Making one’s own beauty products at Babylonstoren

The latest trend in travel is that of experiential travel and experiencing the locality through hyper -local experiences, which is what Babylonstoren does so well. I popped through to their new scent room last week and was delighted to experience making my own face-mask.

The new scented room at Babylonstoren

Lunch Under the Oaks with the Winemaker at De Trafford…

Another recent hyper-local experience was enjoying a delicious home-made lunch under the oaks at the Manor House at De Trafford in Stellenbosch . After a private cellar tour, hosted by the renowned winemaker, David Trafford, with food prepared and local wine. In addition the guests could admire the handmade silk scarves made by Rita Trafford and her team ‘where each scarf is a wearable piece of art dictated to by nature.’

Both these experiences of making one’s own facemask with ingredients off the farm at Babylonstoren and lunching with the winemaker drinking his wines and then seeing the beautiful hand-made scarves left us with an incredibly luxurious feeling having enjoyed a wonderful hyper-local experience.

Delicious home-made lunch under the oaks at De Trafford

Handmade silk scarves reflecting nature by Rita Trafford

Contact should you be interested in your own bespoke luxury journey.