During Virtuoso’s 2023 Symposium in Montreal, David Kolner, executive vice president for the advisor network, shared booking data and industry insights that paint a rosy picture of luxury travel’s dramatic comeback.
The bookings data for 2023 is 91% higher than 2019 and 62% higher than 2022, which Virtuoso compared to data from Tourism Economics that travel and tourism won’t recover fully until the second quarter of 2024. Because Virtuoso focuses solely on luxury travel, this indicates “that the demand for luxury experiences is leading the way forward,” according to the network.
Changing Booking Windows
Virtuoso also shared that booking windows are shorter this year, at 64 days, compared to 85 days in 2019 and 109 days at the beginning of 2021.
Hotels are the clear winner when it comes to Virtuoso’s suppliers. Preferred hotels are experiencing bookings that are 193% higher than in 2019, and 77% higher than 2022.
And hotel average daily rates (ADRs) are not coming down: Summer 2023 rates average nearly $1,700 per night, 16% higher than in 2022, and 69% more than in 2019.
One spot of good news for the price-conscious client is that domestic ADR growth for U.S. travelers is slowing slightly in 2023, up only 6% on average from the same months in 2022; however, these rates for 2023 summer travel (June through August) are pacing 12-25% ahead of 2022.
Cruising is another category that is strong, with Virtuoso bookings up 55% in the category compared to 2019.
Mass-market cruising is 30% higher, while premium is up 61%, luxury is up 79%, expedition is up 83% and river cruising is up 128%.
An Increase in High-Net-Worth Individuals
Virtuoso is optimistic that it can keep up the soaring increases in bookings due to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report data showing that its target market of high-value travelers — high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth individuals — is expected to grow by 34%, exceeding 62 million worldwide over the next five years.