RALEIGH, N.C. – Travel Experts, Inc., the premier host agency for independent luxury travel agents, predicts luxury travel will continue to grow throughout 2017. On the heels of a record-breaking 32% growth in revenue in 2016, 58% of Travel Experts’ luxury travel agents report an increase in sales year-to-date. While economic growth and a strong dollar were cited as contributing factors, 55% of travel agents polled attribute growth to an increased awareness of the value of using a luxury travel agent.
“Very sophisticated, experienced travelers, fully capable of booking their own hotels online, are turning to travel advisors to do the work for them,” noted Lynn Juliano, an independent affiliate of Travel Experts. “Their time is valuable and they trust our ability to leverage our contacts to get the best rates, special upgrades and VIP treatment upon their arrival,” she added.
According to the survey, River Cruising is the largest growth segment in luxury travel, while family and adventure travel are strong contenders for second place. While these kinds of trips are predominantly enjoyed by Baby Boomers, an increasing number of Gen Xer’s are expressing an interest in jumping on-board this new trend.
Susan Ferrell, President of Travel Experts, attributes this growth to the hard work and motivation of travel agents. “Travel agents are entrepreneurs,” she explains. “Our agents spend on average 35-40 days each year completing on-site inspections and travel research, as well as making reliable contacts in regions they recommend to clients. They go above and beyond to ensure that their clients have a remarkable travel experience.”
Other notable findings from the survey include:
- Adventure travel as the number one vacation choice of Millennials
- Gen Xer’s continue to dominate the luxury family travel market
- When not River Cruising, multigenerational and bucket list travel are high priorities for Baby Boomers
- Europe remains the number one requested destination at 72%, with North America cited as the second most popular destination among luxury travelers. Iceland was earmarked as a “hot” destination trend for 2017 and beyond.