Luxury clients are continuing to invest in travel. (photo via Anna_Om / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Last year, many travelers were splurging on post-pandemic travel, opting for the best suite, business-class air and bucket list destinations.
Travel advisors specializing in the luxury market say their clients are still spending big.
“I am still seeing clients requesting more high-end upgrades for their travel,” said Amy Daniel, owner of Custom Design Travel, an affiliate of Travel Experts. “I think that the pandemic has caused our clients to want to live life to the fullest and enjoy their precious time with their loved ones in a very special way while traveling.”
Claire Schoeder, an independent contractor with Atlanta-based Elevations Travel, noted that while her clients traditionally opt for many of the bells and whistles associated with luxury travel, “some are definitely upgrading from what they used to do.”
“The pandemic has encouraged them to stop putting trips off as they have seen what can happen with no warning,” she said.
“I’m already seeing people wanting to travel more times a year than they did in the past,” said Ryan Corrigan, CEO and head travel consultant at Corrigan & Co. Luxury Travel Outfitters. “They’re getting back from a big trip and immediately reaching out for the next one. I am also seeing people take more of those bucket list or wish list trips that they may have been previously putting off – Alaska, safaris Asia, etc.”
“Think of a large travel stove in your office,” said Richard Turen, managing director of Churchill & Turen. “Your affluent clients are all moving bucket list trips from the back burner to the front of the line.”
Turen suggested travel advisors schedule a five-year travel plan meeting with their clients to determine their priorities.
“And don’t forget to advise that the most strenuous bucket list items be moved to the front of the line while your clients are still in shape to do them.”
For his part, Eric Goldberg, owner of Goldberg Travel, believes the high level of luxury travel will continue, although not necessarily at the same level.
“I am already seeing resistance to the very high business class fares – especially to Asia,” he said.
The luxury market, however, remains strong. “There are many who are using funds that they hadn’t spent in two to three years and/or funds from a very strong stock market,” Goldberg said.
“Further, the luxury market is dependent on guests that are moving up, as a good portion of the current luxury market is getting older and, having lost two to three years, are in a ‘now or never’ mindset.”
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