Luxury Travel is a lucrative market, but it’s also a slippery concept. For some, a luxury escape means private jets and personalized pajamas; for others, it’s seeing rare wild animals in far-flung places or eating in the world’s hardest-to-book restaurants.
The characteristics of affluent travelers who seek luxury travel experiences vary significantly by age, with millennials and Gen X holding healthy shares of the luxury market. These travelers tend to have more freedom from major life responsibilities and work commitments, so they can prioritize leisure travel. They also tend to be more willing to spend their discretionary income on experiences that exceed their expectations, and those that help them feel accomplished and fulfilled as individuals.
Unlike broader luxury consumers, these travelers may not want shared travel experiences, and are more likely to seek unique accommodations such as an ice hotel in Sweden or a treehouse in the Maldives. These accommodations provide bragging rights and the opportunity for luxurious Instagram selfies, and may be augmented with other features like geometric tiled floors, a well-stocked library or floating breakfasts.
These travelers are also more influenced by celebrities and influencers in their luxury discovery, planning and purchase decisions. In fact, nearly half of luxury travel shoppers have purchased a travel experience based on social media content from a celebrity or influencer. Lastly, these travelers are more likely than other travelers to say they would pay extra for custom tours to connect with local culture and environments or eco-friendly/sustainable hotels or resorts.