Luxury travelers are taking more trips and spending more money as the demand for luxury travel and experiences continues unabated, according to a study conducted in Q4 of 2022 by The Olinger Group, a market research firm whose specialties include luxury travel and luxury brands.
The Q4 study is a follow-up to “The U.S. Luxury Traveler Study 2022,” which was conducted in spring 2022 to provide baseline information on the identity, expectations and behaviors of luxury travelers. Over 1,600 U.S. travelers with an annual household income of over $100,000 and took leisure vacations were surveyed. Three groups were created: Luxury travelers with HHI of $250,000-plus (higher income) who consider all their vacations to be “luxury vacation;” luxury travelers with HHI of $100,000 to $249,999 (lower income) who consider all their vacations to be “luxury vacations;” and “other travelers” who did not define all of their vacations as such. In all, 60 percent identified as luxury travelers.
The first group took the most vacations in the last 12 months, were expected to take the most in the next 12 months, spent the most on the former and plan to spend the most on the latter. For all three groups, however, the expected spend on future vacations was more than the spend on trips taken in the last 12 months.
Good to know: The group of lower income luxury travelers values luxury travel experiences similar to higher income travelers (94 percent vs. 98 percent) and they are nearly equally willing to pay top dollar to guarantee they receive higher quality and service (89 percent vs. 92 percent).
When it comes to multigen travel, the luxury traveler is increasingly family-focused, with more than half traveling with children. Luxury Travelers additionally took more vacations with their children than other travelers (2.58 and 2.10 trips annually taken with kids for higher income and lower income luxury travelers, respectively, compared to 1.82 among other travelers). Luxury travelers of both groups (at similar rates) also said that children were influential in planning the daily activities, destination and hotel choice.
Both groups of luxury travelers also say that vacationing is the thing the look forward to most each year. The cohorts also said they are more willing to try new things on vacation and that vacation memories are more valuable than anything they bought in the last year.
Seventy-nine percent of luxury travelers (equal among both groups) say they trust traditional travel agencies when it comes to the vacation decision-making process. Only travel service providers fared better among both groups (85 percent for lower income, 81 percent for higher income). Luxury travelers were more likely to use a travel advisor in the past three years, with 17 percent of vacations for higher income luxury travelers using the services of an advisor and 16 percent of vacations for lower income luxury travelers doing so. Just 6 percent of other travelers’ vacations used an advisor in the same period. Going forward, however, all groups are planning to use advisors at a much higher rate (53 percent for higher income luxury travelers, 55 percent for lower income luxury travelers and 37 percent for other travelers).
How have luxury travelers changed over the course of 2022? Over the second half of the year, they took more vacations and said they planning to take more in the next year, with spend increasing for both of those. In addition, more older travelers and more families with young kids were vacationing at the end of 2022 than they were in Q1.
Source: The Olinger Group