In today’s rapidly evolving hospitality industry, affluent travelers are increasingly in search of unique, meaningful, and purposeful experiences that allow for a deeper connection with the world, stated a senior official.

According to Nicolas Hauvespre, VP of Commercial for Shangri-La Group, MEIA, the company is responding to this trend by placing greater emphasis on curating innovative experiences tailored to resonate personally with their guests. Additionally, sustainability remains a pivotal focus for Shangri-La, with Hauvespre emphasizing that it is a core value embraced by the company. Initiatives like ‘Rooted in Nature’ enable a comprehensive review of the food supply chain to ensure responsible practices from ingredient cultivation to waste management.

Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah in Oman introduced the world’s first Frankincense Sommelier, Khalid Al Amri, last year, providing guests with insight into the resort's tree garden and the history and uses of Frankincense in various aspects of Omani culture. Guests are also invited to take part in workshops to learn the art of extracting and using Frankincense, immerse themselves in Omani traditions, or appreciate the region’s history and culture through art pieces adorning the resort’s walls, offering a distinctive opportunity for a deep connection with the region’s heritage.

Hauvespre highlighted the significance of local partnerships for Shangri-La, underscoring the infusion of authentic elements from the destination into their offerings by collaborating with local businesses, artisans, and communities. This approach not only strengthens the local economy but also enhances the guest experience through genuine cultural immersion.

The group’s global brand campaign, alongside this year’s ‘behind the scenes’ initiative, aims to inspire guests to ‘find their own Shangri-La’ by curating unique signature experiences both within the hotels and nearby locations, as described by Hauvespre. For instance, guests traveling to Istanbul can partake in a hands-on workshop at the original baklava factory, Karaköy Güllüoğlu, near Shangri-La Bosphorus. In Oman, guests at Shangri-La Al Husn and Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah can explore one of the country’s top 5 turtle nesting sites, and those staying at Shangri-La The Shard in London can enjoy luxurious cruises on the Thames aboard the Illuminate Yacht, while in Paris, guests at Shangri-La Paris will have prime views of the Opening Ceremony from their room or suite balconies.