What does luxury travel now have in common with grocery shopping, music streaming, and shaving?
The subscription model.
In mid-July, Denver-based travel club Inspirato launched its Inspirato Pass, which allows customers to book unlimited stays in luxury vacation homes, as well as legacy five-star hotel brands such as Ritz Carlton, starting at $2,500 a month with no other nightly rates or fees.
The subscription e-commerce market has exploded in the past decade, generating more than $2.6 billion in sales in 2016, according to a 2018 report by McKinsey & Co. About 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more monthly subscriptions.
But though such subscription service companies as Netflix, Blue Apron, and Dollar Shave Club are widely known, this model has yet to become commonly used in the travel industry. There have been such entrances into the market as that of FinalPrice, which launched in 2017 to offer hotel, flight, and rental car deals for $99 a month, and Flightpass, a pass valid for 10 flights that Lufthansa Innovation Hub tested out in 2017. There are also many membership options in the private jet arena.
But the Inspirato Pass marks the first time the upscale leisure travel industry has tried out the model.
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