April 02, 2013

Affluent U.S. consumers and their travel plans 2013


A new Unity Marketing luxury trend report reveals affluents' travel plans for 2013 and how hospitality and travel providers can capture their share of travelers' growing budgets. U.S. affluent consumers are planning to spend to more on leisure travel in 2013 than they did last year, but are growing less inclined to book through a travel agency.

What links such diverse travel marketers like airlines, hotels, cruise lines, rental car agencies, travel agency, tour operator, travel media outlet in their pursuit of sales, growth and profits? Those marketers that win and beat their direct competition will be the ones that understand the needs, wants and desires of the best potential customers and put insights into action with marketing strategies, tactics and guest services that really matter. When it comes down to the best potential customers for any travel marketer that is the affluent consumer, people with plenty of disposable income to spend and an appetite for new, exotic, out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Insights into these high-potential travelers are what Unity Marketing delivers in a new Luxury Trend Report entitled, Affluent Consumers & Their Travel Plans for 2013. A survey of over 1,300 affluent consumers (average income $267,800; 45.4 years) found that 45 percent of those surveyed plan to spend more on their travels in 2013 as compared with 2012. This is an especially strong view of planned spending which can mean significant growth for marketers that can attract these customers to their brands.

Among the most important findings include:

- Luxury travelers economize on getting to their chosen destinations, but indulge freely when it comes to their accommodations once they get there. They are most likely to fly coach class or travel car but then they most often choose to stay in a luxury hotel (4-to-5 stars). When it comes to travel, the real luxury value is not in getting there, but in being there.

- Multiple long-stay vacations are the norm for luxury consumers. In 2012 the typical luxury traveler took 2.8 separate four or more day vacations. In 2013 they are likely to maintain the same pattern.

- By comparing where luxury consumers visited in 2012 with those they plan to visit in 2013, we find these three destinations will be especially popular and benefit from more travel by luxury consumers this year: The Caribbean is on deck for more luxury visitors in 2013; Asia will be more popular in 2013; and Australia/New Zealand will be more popular as a destination for 2013 visitors.

- The most in demand experiences for luxury travelers are relaxation & stress reduction, sightseeing experiences, and fine dining & food/wine experiences. All of these rose in relative importance over the experiences luxury travelers desired in 2011.

- In 2013 online reviews greatly appreciated in value to luxury travelers as compared with the 2011 survey findings. Getting discount offers from travel providers also grew in importance in 2013 as compared with results from 2011.

Related Link: Unit Marketing

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