What: High-Income Travelers Are Planning Nearly Four Vacations Over the Next 12 Months
The latest MMGY Global Portrait of American International Travelers report reveals that high-end travelers are opening their wallets for travel, despite geopolitical events, inflation and other global factors. Affluent American travelers have 3.8 international vacations planned over the next 12 months — a 2% increase from the 2.2 vacations they had planned over the same time period in 2019. What’s more, average annual spending jumped to $15,364, a 16% bump versus pre-pandemic conditions.
Why It Matters: High-End Travelers Provide a Lucrative Opportunity for Travel Advisors
More trips, plus increased spending, equal higher commission checks for travel advisors who serve this niche of high-end international travelers.
But agents should keep in mind that pre-pandemic marketing strategies won’t work with this discerning clientele; the motivators of today’s affluent traveler (which may include an increased desire for bucket-list trips, reunions with friends and families and milestone celebrations) should be identified in the initial consultation. It may lead to an opportunity for increased add-on services that might not have been possible under pre-pandemic conditions.
Fast Facts: Affluent Travelers Prefer Europe and the South Pacific
- The Portrait of American International Travelers is researched in conjunction with the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
- The report surveys the preferences of passport-holding U.S. travelers with an annual household income above $100,000. These travelers have also traveled outside of North America in the past two years.
- The survey measures both motivators and preferences for international travel, along with travel forecasts that will influence their behavior moving forward.
- The report assembled the responses from 2,000 travelers.
- Less-crowded destinations are preferable to this group, along with vacations to Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Canada.
- Top concerns for this group (when it comes to travel) includes flight cancellations or delays, safety issues (related to violence or unrest) and sustainability, while COVID-19 and inflation are less concerning to older demographics.
- When looking at each generation, millennials are predicted to go on more international trips than baby boomers (5.7 vs. 1.5 over the next year), but boomers have the spending power ($7,725 per trip vs. $3,564).
What They Are Saying: Travel Industry Professionals Should Keep the Needs and Concerns of Today’s Travelers in Mind
“It’s clear that there is a willingness and growing appetite to travel internationally, but the important thing for marketers to note is that the American traveler looks and acts quite differently than they did before COVID-19,” said Cees Bosselaar, Europe managing director for MMGY Travel Intelligence. “As international tourism ramps back up, destinations should continue to be mindful of the new concerns and challenges that today’s travelers face throughout the course of their journeys.”