The Wild Side of Luxury

While the country’s politicians and pundits debate the best way to put the government’s finances back in order, consumers are working out their own budget issues with an eye on summer travel plans By: Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro

While the country’s politicians and pundits debate the best way to put the government’s finances back in order, consumers are working out their own budget issues with an eye on summer travel plans. Fortunately for travel agents, surveys suggest that the luxury market is rebounding in a major way.

In a recent survey of more than 500 Travel Leaders Group agencies, 86 percent of respondents stated that their luxury bookings are higher than or equal to the same time a year ago. Also, based on current bookings to date for 2013 as well as conversations with clients, more than 92 percent of Travel Leaders Group agents surveyed said that clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2013.

“Luxury and experiential travel are definitely strong segments for the industry right now,” said Barry Liben, Travel Leaders Group CEO.

As you read this issue’s cover story, “Upscale, Up North,” keep this dramatic rebound in the luxury market in mind. In many ways, Alaska is an ideal destination for the new breed of luxury traveler. In the past, the emphasis for these travelers might have been on guestrooms and hotel amenities. Today, upscale travelers are looking for one-of-a-kind experiences and ease of travel. They want someone to guide them toward low-hassle, high-impact adventures. Naturally, they prefer to do this in comfort — with the finest food and service — but their overall focus is on sampling the best experiences possible.

In Alaska, new lodges have opened that cater perfectly to this type of traveler. Guests explore with top experts and are shown the wild side of The Great Land during the day and then come back to be pampered by top chefs and cozy creature comforts at night.

As you look for different ways to capture the imaginations of high-end clients this year, don’t forget Alaska. Your clients are sure to come home with enough stories and bragging rights to last until their next adventure.

>