By Karen Axelton
If your business is involved in the travel industry, benefits from travelers or markets to them, you’ll want to know what luxury travelers are planning for this year. The news from Unity Marketing is positive: The company’s latest report, Affluent Consumers & Their Travel Plans for 2013, surveyed over 1,300 affluent consumers with an average income of $267,800 and found that nearly half (45 percent) plan to spend more on travel in 2013 compared with 2012.
Where are luxury consumers planning to go? Internationally, three destinations were especially popular compared to 2011: the Caribbean, Asia and Australia/New Zealand. In the U.S., Las Vegas and Nevada in general topped the list of planned vacation spots, followed by New York, Florida, Boston/New England and Los Angeles. 15 percent of consumers plan on visiting Western Europe, especially France, Germany Italy and Spain.
What else do you need to know about luxury travelers?
Luxury travelers typically take multiple long vacations. In 2013, the average luxury traveler will take 2.8 separate vacations lasting four days or longer.
Luxury travelers don’t want to spend a lot of money getting to their destination. They rarely fly first-class, for example, and they seek to use frequent flyer points and other means to economize on the trip. Receiving discounts was cited as more important this year than in the prior 2011 survey.
Once they get to their destination, however, luxury travelers splurge, typically staying in four- to five-star hotels. Experience is key for luxury travelers, and the types of experiences they want most this year are relaxation/stress reduction, sightseeing, and fine dining/food and wine experiences.
This year, luxury travelers are relying much less on travel agents and much more on online reviews and other online tools. Less than one-third will use a travel agent to plan their trips, and the importance of online reviews rose compared to the 2011 survey.
But there is still opportunity for travel sellers, tour companies and other travel-related businesses. To make the most of luxury travelers’ growing budgets:
- Provide or link to online reviews of your business on your website.
- Offer discounts, special offers or packages to appeal to luxury travelers’ desire to save.
- Provide a curated experience. Luxury travelers care greatly about creating meaningful memories and having unique experiences, so if your business can help them discover or enjoy unusual experiences, you’ll appeal to their interests.
- Focus on high quality. Luxury consumers demand the best, so make sure your service is up to their standard.
Image by Flickr user breezy421 (Creative Commons)