Luxury Travel Trends

Luxury Hotel Travel Bookings Lead the Trends in High-End Travel in Latest Survey from Travel Leaders Group

Luxury Cruise Ships Lead All 'Accommodations' Booked by Luxury Travel Agents Followed by 5-Star Hotels/Resorts and Boutique Hotels
The Castle Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Dalian
The Castle Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Dalian

HTrends

Travel Leaders Group, released its latest survey findings specific to luxury travel that pinpoints strong bookings in all major luxury travel categories compared with last year. Based on responses from 770 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents who book luxury travel – including those from its consumer brands Protravel, Tzell and Travel Leaders – the “accommodations” booked most frequently for Travel Leaders Group’s luxury travel clients are staterooms on luxury cruise ships, followed by “5-star hotels/resorts” and “boutique hotels,” respectively. Approximately 90% of all luxury-oriented survey participants stated bookings have “increased or remained steady” for luxury hotels bookings, luxury cruise bookings, bookings for suites on cruise ships, luxury tour bookings, and First/Business Class airline tickets.

“The confidence luxury travelers have is palpable and clearly identified with the booking data from our latest survey. Nearly 92% of our luxury travel agents indicate luxury hotel bookings have increased or remained steady, luxury tour bookings are equal to or higher than last year for nearly 90% of our specialists and over 87% of those polled indicated their luxury cruise bookings have increased or are on par with last year,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “But make no mistake, clientele looking for unique, bespoke travel experiences do not spend money frivolously – they demand value, as any traveler should. Because of the exceptional training and programs we have instituted throughout Travel Leaders Group, more and more of our travel agents have the expertise to provide these clients with the individualized experiences they desire.”

Luxury Trends:

Luxury Accommodations (wide range): When asked, “In terms of accommodations, what do you book most for your luxury clients?” the top response from Travel Leaders Group’s luxury-oriented survey participants was “luxury cruise ship” followed by “5-star hotels and resorts.” (Respondents could select up to three options.)

1

Cruise ship (luxury)

43.5%

2

5-star hotels/resorts

43.1%

3

Boutique hotels

40.5%

4

4-star hotels/resorts

23.7%

5

5-star hotels/resorts – suites

21.5%

6

5-star + (plus) hotels/resorts

19.1%

7

4-star hotels/resorts – suites

19.0%

8

Cruise ship (not luxury) in a suite

18.4%

9

5-star + (plus) hotels/resorts – suites

16.0%

10

Villa

10.2%

Luxury Hotel Bookings: Specifically regarding luxury hotel bookings, nearly 92% indicated that their luxury hotel bookings are higher than or on par with this time last year. That’s an increase of 6.8% over last year, which Travel Leaders Group leadership attributes, in part, to the growing use of the enterprise’s Select Hotels & Resorts luxury hotel amenity program.

2014

2013

2012

Bookings have increased over the previous year

47.4%

45.7%

39.9%

Bookings remain the same as the previous year

44.4%

39.3%

42.5%

“More than 97% of Protravel agents surveyed stated their luxury hotel bookings have increased or remained on par with last year,” stated Protravel International President, Pat Fragale. “Our clientele is very discerning and expect a heightened level of service, comfort and amenities when away from home. Because our travel agents have inside access to some of the most-coveted properties around the world and have personalized relationships with many of these hoteliers, we are able to exceed our clients’ expectations time and time again – leading to increased bookings.”

Luxury Cruise Bookings: Over 87% of those polled stated their luxury cruise bookings are equal to or better than this time last year.

2014

2013

2012

Bookings have increased over the previous year

39.5%

46.7%

38.4%

Bookings remain the same as the previous year

47.7%

37.7%

43.3%

Cruise Suite Bookings: When asked “Compared to this time last year, have your year-to-date bookings of cruise suites increased, remained the same or decreased?” a vast majority stated their bookings have either increased or remained the same.

2014

2013

2012

Bookings have increased over the previous year

33.6%

38.2%

36.4%

Bookings remain the same as the previous year

53.7%

49.8%

49.6%

Luxury Tour Bookings: When asked how luxury tour bookings have fared this year, nearly 90% indicated that these bookings are higher than or the same as this time last year. That’s an increase of 3.1% over last year.

2014

2013

2012

Bookings have increased over the previous year

39.2%

46.3%

36.8%

Bookings remain the same as the previous year

50.1%

39.9%

44.8%

First Class/Business Class Airline Bookings: Again, a significant majority (88.5%) of those polled stated their first class/business class airline bookings are higher than or the same as this time last year.

2014

2013

2012

Bookings have increased over the previous year

37.7%

36.0%

33.9%

Bookings remain the same as the previous year

50.8%

46.7%

49.3%

“First and Business Class year-over-year airline bookings have increased for 37.7% of those polled; however, that doesn’t paint the full picture,” explained Tzell President, J.D. O’Hara. “We already have a very sizeable share of all ‘front of the plane bookings’ where airlines have limited capacity, so this percentage increase in purchased First and Business Class tickets should be viewed as substantial.”

These results are part of the larger 2014 Fall Travel Trends Survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group from August 4 – August 29, 2014, in which 1,054 travel agent experts from the flagship Travel Leaders brand, along with those affiliated with Travel Leaders Group’s Cruise Holidays, Cruise Specialists, Luxury Travel Network, Nexion, Protravel International, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders Corporate, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units participated.

Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generated gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion in 2013. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.

About Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers – through our beginnings as Carlson Leisure Group, a division of Carlson Companies, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group and through the additions of Nexion, Vacation.com and Protravel International – Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. With annual sales of approximately $20 billion through over 6,500 locations, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest traditional travel agency companies.



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