Luxury side lock up Apr 2024
Luxury side lock up Apr 2024

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Luxury travellers lead travel revival: Insights from Virtuoso Travel Week

Affluent travellers are setting the latest travel trends and agenda, despite border restrictions and industry issues, with Virtuoso clients taking longer trips to more international destinations and staying more nights in hotels, rentals and cruises in 2022.

The findings, from data and insights sourced via Virtuoso’s network of travel advisors, preferred partners and upscale clientele, were shared at Virtuoso Travel Week where 5,000 travel advisors from 100 countries attended the week-long hybrid event virtually or in Las Vegas from 13-19 August.

Pent-up demand has prompted increased leisure travel sales in most cases with future 2023 sales already tracking 47 per cent higher than 2019, thanks to strong cruise bookings.

The future of luxury travel

A survey showed 74 per cent of Virtuoso travellers indicated they valued experiences over price and planned to increase the previous year’s spend of $20,700pp by 34 per cent to $27,800pp next year.

Purpose-driven travel remains top-of-mind, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials, with many willing to pay more for eco-friendly tourism practices (56% of Gen Z and 46% of Millennials) and for travel that preserves natural and cultural heritage (58% of Gen Z and 52% of Millennials).

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Luxury travellers value cultural experiences over cost.

Data shows the hottest global summer destinations for upscale holidaymakers are the US, Italy, France, Canada and Greece followed by the U.K., Spain, Mexico, Ireland and Switzerland.

Luxury travellers also prefer to holiday with a spouse or significant other, followed by travelling with friends and family trips with kids under 18 years, however solo travel is also on rise with increased interest among the 65-plus demographic.

Younger, richer travellers are leading the pack with those aged 18-34 averaging 2.2 more international trips in the past year than the over-65 age group.

The spend for outbound travel is expected to outpace the volume of people actually travelling as leisure travel sales have strongly rebounded, even in markets where borders have only recently opened up.

The US has already outperformed 2019 outbound travel numbers for 2022 by 122 per cent, Australia by 113 per cent and Canada – at 80 percent – is rapidly catching up. 

Eventful information

Attendees were able to take advantage of the latest insights as well as more than 180,000 one-on-one networking appointments between advisors and travel companies, plus professional development sessions by renowned presenters and the event’s first Travel Tech Summit. 

Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch told attendees that Virtuoso advisors’ knowledge and connections were in higher demand than ever, putting them in a position to work with clients who value these assets the most.

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