We knew 2022 was going to be a good year for luxury travel advisors; we just didn’t realize how good. In a recent survey that ran from September 13 to October 13, 2022, more than 68 percent of luxury travel advisor respondents said 2022’s sales will surpass 2019’s, and by a lot: 34 percent forecast a 15 to 30 percent revenue growth; 28 percent will see revenue growth of 30 to 50 percent; another 20 percent will see 2022 surpass 2019 business by more than 50 percent. Of the 370 respondents, 127 (more than a third) were agency owners/managers, 208 (56.22 percent) were independent contractor advisors and 35 (nearly 10 percent) were agency-employed advisors. All respondents book luxury travel; 62 percent said that more than 50 percent of their business comes from luxury. Bookings have been brisk in 2022, particularly for summer travel to Europe; the good news is that during the dates surveyed, bookings remained just as fast paced. Here, we provide insights on client behavior and sentiment to travel for a wide scope of international destinations.

Luxury Travel Advisor’s Client Insights

Luxury Travel Advisor’s Destination Sentiment Index

Clients continued to purchase upgrades and luxury add-ons for their trips in 2022, said 61 percent of those advisors surveyed. Private planes, cars, drivers, and yachts continued to be the new normal as clients sought to have their own space and travel at their own pace. Overall, “the experience” remains the priority on luxury trips.

"All of my luxury clients are well into their 70s and 80s. Needless to say, they have a bucket list and because they missed a couple of years traveling, they are booking longer vacations to make up for lost time. They are spending about six weeks in Europe and booking back-to-back cruises with extended land tours."

"Many clients are booking two to three trips ahead of time, meaning they have two to three trips on the books. In the past, it was normal to have one trip booked and one in process, now most have several booked."

"Spending is up, bucket lists are more defined, experiential travel is in higher demand and clients have a freedom-to-roam mindset!"

"They are spending at the same rate but the trips are a little more daring or lasting longer."

"Clients are spending more money than they were earlier in the year because the restrictions have been lifted and they aren’t afraid to get stuck. Now that they can travel with peace of mind; they are spending a lot more."

"They are now used to the eye-watering fares and rates and want to travel before the next global problem."

"They are traveling but becoming a bit more price sensitive. I do believe prices will stabilize or come down a bit in 2023."

"To coin a phrase: ‘Buy the shoes, eat the chocolate, take the trip.’"

Luxury Travel Advisor’s Destination Sentiment Index
(Luxury Travel Advisor)

"Most budgets are lower, because of not knowing where the economy will go. Keep in mind I am in California where gas is between $6 and $7 a gallon in most places."

"Actually, clients are expecting deals that are not out there post pandemic. It appears that the industry is trying to make up for lost time. I get it but it is making things more difficult, specifically the airlines. The airline fares, cancelations and delays have wreaked havoc on my business. I am busier than last year, but I could be killing it if we were not dealing with the airfare."

"They are wanting smaller ships and more intimate resorts."

"They are booking butler suites and private transfers or luxury helicopter transfers."

"They are booking private tours with drivers and higher-end hotels with more amenities closer to sites."

"They are booking suites on cruises or moving to more luxury lines. They do feel hotel prices are getting ridiculous especially in beach locations and Florida."

"They are traveling up a level in tours and we have seen a change in the mindset of ‘why not fly business class’ after the COVID disruption. You can’t take it with you!"

Luxury Travel Advisor’s Destination Sentiment Index

"We asked advisors what keeps them jazzed about the industry and as usual, the optimism and love for this business came bursting through. In short, 2023 is going to be a very good year."

"Demand remains extremely high, and luxury clients understand and are willing to invest in trips that are more expensive than in the past. Loyal clients are more loyal, and there is a huge pipeline of new clients coming in. A good situation, despite the economic headwinds, which I think will mostly affect lower-end travel."

"Luxury travel has been less impacted than premium and contemporary travel. Their experience (travel and education) tends to rise above the chatter and they are still seeking the experiences and relationships that travel provides. We have a strong focus on communication and ‘relationshipping’ to ensure a successful 2023 and beyond."

"Many upscale clients are putting a higher priority on those bucket list trips and family ‘celebrations’ than ever. We’re planning up to three years out!"

"More clients are looking for private experiences and we are seeing this trend into 2023 already. We are drowning with requests so that has been a big motivation for our agency."

Luxury Travel Advisor’s Destination Sentiment Index

Luxury Travel Advisor’s Destination Sentiment Index

The world reopened gradually in 2022 and luxury travelers didn’t hesitate to pull out their passports and jet across the world. In the period between September 13 and October 13, 2022, we polled luxury travel advisors to gauge the client interest level in international destinations. During this time, advisors said client intent to travel to Europe had gotten even stronger than in the beginning of the year, and this was after an incredibly busy summer for the continent. As other destinations took a bit longer to reopen, interest lagged a bit; we expect as locales in Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand promote more, interest will grow. Anecdotally, we know Japan is already experiencing very strong bookings for 2023. 

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