Influencing The Future of the Luxury Traveler at the 2015 ULTRA Summit (VIDEO)



This year’s third annual Luxury Travel Advisor's ULTRA Luxury Summit was held at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. During the summit, top suppliers and advisors in the luxury travel industry discussed important issues like how to reach and connect with today’s affluent traveler.

Peter Yesawich, vice chairman of MMGY Global, spoke to this topic, explaining the motivations and debunking the myths around the affluent traveler, such as why they take vacations. Collectively, travelers from the Millennial generation to the Baby Boomers all agreed the main motivation for a vacation is relaxation. In the case of the Millennial traveler, 70 percent said the main motivation for travel was exploration, but 78 percent put relaxation as the top reason to vacation, compared to 76 percent of Boomers. However, the Boomers placed meeting new people at the bottom of their reasons for leisure travel -- only 15 percent of Boomers take leisure trips to meet new people.

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Peter Yesawich
Peter Yesawich speaks at Luxury Travel Advisor's ULTRA Summit.

A big trend to keep an eye on with the affluent traveler that has investable assets in excess of one million dollars is multigenerational travel. Of these affluent travelers, 28 percent are grandparents and 41 percent of those took a leisure trip in the past 12 months that included their grandchildren.  

“The population of America is aging, and as we continue to age we will have more individuals that fall into this bucket (grandparents), which will drive multigenerational demand,” says Yesawich.

Continuing to look into the future, Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, also presented at this year’s ULTRA Summit about the future of luxury business and the luxury traveler. Pimentel enlightened this year’s guests with proprietary luxury consumer and luxury travel research conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

According to the research, travel is the third highest “spend category” among luxury consumers after second homes and automobiles. 

“The business and the complexity of luxury is changing, and it is about shifting attitudes,” says Pimentel.

Yesterday’s luxury spender wanted personal luxury goods like watches and fine cigars. But today’s luxury traveler and spender want exclusivity; they want the idea of getting something unique or special, explained Pimentel. Experiences and travel that come with some sort of “human connection” are very important and remembered more often.

Pimentel gave the example that a luxury traveler may follow locals into a cafe. The luxury traveler may not be able to read the menu, but the experience was special and localized, and that’s what is important.

Stay tuned to for more coverage from this year’s Luxury Travel Advisor's ULTRA Luxury Summit. 




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