Luxury Travel Market Booms

Luxury consumers are expected to spend 8 percent more on luxury travel in 2006, reports Unity Marketing.

In 2005 the typical luxury consumer spent $25,972 on luxury travel. That is up a stunning 41 percent over the average amount spent in 2004 of $18,474. Based upon new research from Unity Marketing, luxury consumers' spending on luxury travel in 2006 is predicted to exceed $28,000 on average, an 8 percent increase over previous year. In the latest survey of luxury consumers, some 40 percent say they will spend more on luxury travel this year than last, while a near equal percentage (43 percent) expect to spend about the same.

What is behind luxury consumers' wanderlust that causes them to spend so much money on travel? "The answer lies in return on investment," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses — as well as the Classes. "Luxury consumers spend their money where they get the most luxury satisfaction. For today's luxury consumer that comes from luxury experiences, like travel, not from buying more material goods. In other words, travel and other experiences give them the most bang for their buck."

In Unity Marketing's most recent Luxury Tracking study, a quarterly survey of 1,200 affluent consumers about their luxury purchases, spending and brand preferences (average income $145.7k and age 42.7 years), key findings about luxury travel include:

- Nearly four luxury trips are planned for the rest of the year: Luxury consumers have plans to take 3.6 personal trips or vacations from April to December 2006. Fewer than 10 percent of luxury consumers have no trips planned for the remainder of 2006.

- Luxury resorts and foreign travel are a part of more luxury travelers plans: One-third of luxury consumers plan to stay at a luxury resort this year, while one-fourth have plans for foreign travel. Luxury cruises are on the agenda for 15 percent of luxury consumers and private air travel for 14 percent.

- Luxury consumers travel mainly for relaxation and stress relief: Taking a break from their high pressure lives is the main reason why luxury travelers venture forth. Nearly half of luxury consumers (47 percent) say that "relaxation and stress relief" are very important when they travel.

- Making memories is the ultimate travel reward: When it comes to the experiences they want to obtain from their travels, the majority of luxury consumers (56 percent) say that "having special experiences that make memories" is very important. This is followed closely by a desire to "visit new places, have new experiences," rated very important by 48 percent of luxury travelers.

For media: Charts, tables and graphs are available upon request.

Contact: Pam Danziger, 717-336-1600

Unity Marketing publishes its Luxury Tracking Study quarterly with the next due in July/August 2006.