The latest survey by Flywire Corporation, a global payments enablement and software company, reveals that 83 percent of luxury travelers surveyed plan to spend more on travel in 2023 than they did in 2022. Additionally, as the demand for unique travel experiences is expected to remain strong, 84 percent of luxury travelers surveyed said their next few vacations will be longer than the ones they took over the past 18 months.
Highlighting the value of the travel advisor when creating a luxury experience, the survey showed that 81 percent of respondents say working with travel experts is the only way to have a true luxury travel experience—up from 74 percent last year. Younger generations, such as Gen Z and Millennials (63 percent each), are more likely to take advantage of the assistance from agents and advisors as opposed to Gen X (54 percent) and most Boomers (45 percent).
While travel advisors can take away some of the stress and manage many pain points—including logistics and payment offerings—additional considerations such as hidden travel restrictions, including last minute COVID-19-related changes, have made professionals all the more important. The survey found 67 percent could not imagine traveling without an advisor, with 62 percent citing their "ability to take care of everything" as a benefit.
The growth in popularity of hybrid work, the four-day work week and more work-life balance may also prove to be a boon for the luxury travel industry. There is now no such thing as an “off-season” for travel, as the survey found Gen X (98 percent), Boomers (99 percent) and Gen Z and Millennials (89 percent) agreeing that travel is no longer limited to one season. People are eager to travel all year round, and 85 percent of those surveyed attribute their hybrid work schedule to their ability to travel more frequently and during periods in which they normally would not have that option. The lines between work and play are becoming blurred as 73 percent said they are more likely to combine business trips and vacations now than in the past.
Travelers are also looking for the opportunity to incorporate special events like the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2023 Ryder Cup or the 2024 Summer Olympics into their trips, with 83 percent of respondents saying traveling for special events allows them to turn trips into longer ones.
The report found that payment security and convenience are, additionally, of utmost priority as 90 percent of luxury travelers noted ease of payments for all parts of their trip, such as accommodations, excursions and bookings, as important to them. Payment security concerns are top of mind for almost seven out of 10 (69 percent) of all travelers surveyed, and even higher among Gen Z and Millennials (82 percent).This is a significant increase compared to the 37 percent of all luxury travelers surveyed last year who expressed payment security concerns.
Flywire’s annual luxury travel report surveyed 612 U.S. adults to uncover the patterns and priorities that will help shape the industry this year.