Affluent individuals continue to show preferences to experiences over ‘things’ and their dollars to flow to the luxury travel category. A recent Virtuoso® survey of luxury travel providers showed a whopping 41% increase over last year for ‘expedition’ type experiences and luxury yacht charters posted a healthy 15% gain over 2014. According to the report, both of these categories beat ‘regular’ luxury cruises which still had a strong showing for the first part of 2015.
A bleak global economic picture has not dissuaded the affluent traveler from spending money on experiences. The explosion of mobile technology has put luxury travel marketing right in the face of a younger generation that has money and craves travel. Euromonitor’s Global Luxury Travel Trends Report identified different luxury travelers based on their wants;
- The independent minded traveler who is looking for authentic experiences that are also active and personalized.
- The explorer who wants extreme experiences and is willing to put a limitless budget on it.
- The classic luxury traveler, who still holds great value on high quality and high service.
- Streetwise purchasers, a younger generation of traveler that are more social media savvy.
In 2016, luxury travel providers should focus their energies on providing unique experiences and off the beaten path destinations that will ‘wow’ their clients. Bucket list type experiences such as exploring the Galapagos Islands or the South Pole are what affluent travelers are looking for. Glamping and Eco-luxury have also been trending highly among wealthy consumers.
Social media marketing and interaction should be a business priority for any provider that is serious about gaining market share in 2016. Smartphones and tablets are now the go to tools for travel research and bookings and many take these devices along for the experience.
By Doron Levy Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media