A Snapshot of the Australian Luxury Traveller in 2019

Today in Sydney, we launched the Australian Luxury Traveller 2019 study by Goldman Group – the biggest Virtuoso agency in Australia. The study was completed over the past three months by Strategic Vision in association with AccorHotels. We are pleased to provide the press release and survey results here.

New destinations, heritage sites, gourmet food…and value for money – discover what the luxury traveller wants in 2019

A new survey has revealed intriguing insights into the globetrotting habits of Australia’s luxury travellers, including their passion for discovering unique experiences, their willingness to travel to far-flung locations and their spending habits in pursuit of the perfect getaway.

The survey, conducted by the Goldman Group – Australia’s premier luxury travel advisory group, in partnership with AccorHotels, also underlined the close partnership between luxury travellers and their travel advisors to make high-end travel dreams a reality.

Among the revelations is that luxe-loving travellers have no issue with committing significant sums to support their global roaming but do seek value and look for discounts and special offers when booking accommodation.

Europe remains the most popular destination, followed by North America, with 93% of respondents stating they travel specifically to experience new places and cultures. Luxury travellers are keen to visit a new destination on each trip (79%) with historical sites and heritage at the top of the hitlist (53%).

 “This survey proves that the Aussie adventurous spirit is alive and well in the luxury travel sector, especially with retiring Australians making the most of their additional free time to traverse the globe and enrich their lives with new experiences,” said Anthony Goldman, Joint Managing Director of The Goldman Group.

Further insights from the Australian Luxury Traveller 2019 report include:

Luxury Travellers don’t comprise during ‘tough times’

Despite falling house prices and consumer confidence on the decline, 22% of luxury travellers are planning to increase their travel spend, in comparison to last year and 19% plan to spend over $50,000 or more on international travel. While luxe-loving travellers have no issue with committing significant sums to support their global roaming, 76% do seek value and look for discounts and special offers when booking accommodation. 

History and heritage rein for luxury travellers

Immersive travel is important to luxury travellers with 49% stating they “travel to have experiences that are transformational.” More traditional travel motivators such as rest and relaxation (27%), beaches (14%) and romance (8%) were lower priorities, compared to experiencing historic sights (53%), destination dining (48%) and cultural pursuits (36%). 

Gourmet travellers

Nearly half of respondents (46%) agreed food is a principal reason they travel, but just 25% said restaurants with well-known chefs were important. 

Let’s get (a little) physical

Twenty percent of respondents enjoy ‘leisurely outdoor activities’ on vacation, such as walking, hiking, cycling and boating, with just 5% keen on strenuous outdoor activities. Only 4% were interested in wellness programmes or spas. 

Putting a value on value

Although 45% of respondents plan to spend at least $30,000 on travel this year and 19% will spend over $50,000, price was still the number one answer for 63% when asked about factors influencing travel decisions. Seventy-six percent look for discounts and special offers when seeking accommodation, with four out of five respondents saying benefits of booking through travel agents, such as room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and late check-out were important. Nearly half (49%) attempt to stick to a budget when travelling. 

Italy – the hottest destination for luxury travellers in 2019

Long-haul trips remain popular with Australian luxury travellers, with multiple destination – and multi-continent journeys common among this demographic. The most popular recent international travel spots among respondents were Europe, USA, Italy and New Zealand. Europe also took out the top spot for the next trip on respondents’ radars, followed by multi-destination, the US, Japan and Asia. Europe – particularly Italy, was the ‘favourite’ international holiday destination for 17% (and 12%) of respondents, with Italy top of the international wish list for luxe travellers in the future. Other wish list destinations a little more ‘off the beaten track’ included Africa, Antarctica, Scandinavia, Alaska, Iceland and the Maldives.

Luxury travellers remain undeterred by the current US political climate

Australian travellers are largely undeterred by concerns over security and politics, with only 33% saying they worry about personal safety while travelling overseas. Just 29% mentioned security issues as a factor in picking a destination, and the US political climate is also a relative non-issue. 

Cruising is still king

The expanding cruise sector is now valued at US$5 billion, with 1.34 million Australians boarding a cruise in 2017. A significant 72% of respondents had taken at least one cruise in the past five years, with 21% saying they cruise annually. The Mediterranean is the most popular cruising destination (44%), followed by Australia/New Zealand (32%), the South Pacific (31%), Alaska and the Pacific Coast of North America (29%), and the Baltics (29%). Looking ahead, 42% are interested in river cruises, 41% in expedition cruises and 31% keen on cruising on a small yacht. The most sought-after future itineraries include the Galapagos Islands (43%), European river cruising (42%), the British Isles (42%) and Norway (42%), Antarctica (39%), and the Baltics (38%). 

Luxury Travellers still enlist the help of a travel advisor when booking overseas travel

A significant 58% of respondents prefer to use a face-to-face travel advisor when booking their next overseas adventure compared with booking directly with airlines and hotels, or using an online agent or app (28%). In addition, four out of five respondents said the benefits of booking through travel agents, such as room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and late check-out were important. 

Brand love

Qantas was easily the local luxe travellers’ favourite airline (41%), followed by Singapore Airlines (20%), Emirates (12%), Cathay Pacific (5%) and Qatar (3%). AccorHotels came top of the hotel list with 12.4% of respondents naming it their favourite brand, followed by the Four Seasons (5.3%), Marriott (4.6%), Hilton (4.2%) and IHG (3.9%). Twenty-three per cent of respondents cited no hotel brand allegiance.


Distributed to well-heeled travel consumers in Australia by the Goldman Group in November 2018, the Australian Luxury Traveller 2019 survey questions asked about motivations for travel; sources of inspiration; booking methods; favourite destinations, airlines, and hotel brands; and more. The survey received 316 responses. The respondents are typically affluent, mature, and retired from full-time work, and take between one and four international holidays each year.


Established by Tom Goldman OAM in 1983, The Goldman Group is Australia’s premier luxury travel advisory group with in-depth experience in all facets of luxury leisure and business travel. The company’s professional and well-travelled team are leaders in the industry, leveraging excellent relationships with airline and hotel partners to make clients’ travel seamless, luxurious, and cost-effective.

A leading member of the Virtuoso network and helloworld business travel network, the Goldman Group can access hotels and experiences not always available elsewhere, from room upgrades to on-site assistance in remote locations, and more.

The Goldman Group of travel companies includes Goldman Travel Corporation, Travelcall, Travel Phase, SmartFlyer Australia, Quintessentially Travel Australia, and The Cruise Centre. Goldman Group has been awarded multiple awards including Top Virtuoso Producer in Asia Pacific in 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 – and 2017 Best Corporate Travel Agency multi-location at the NTIA Awards.


AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,600 hotels, resorts and residences across 100 different countries. With an unrivaled portfolio of internationally renowned hotel brands encompassing the entire range from luxury to economy, from upscale to lifestyle and midscale brands, AccorHotels has been providing savoir-faire and expertise for more than 50 years. In addition to its core hospitality business, AccorHotels has successfully expanded its range of services, becoming the world leader in luxury private residence rental with more than 10,000 stunning properties around the world.

The Group is also active in the fields of concierge servicesco-workingdiningevents management and digital solutions. Relying on its global team of more than 250,000 dedicated staff, AccorHotels is committed to fulfilling its primary mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome.  Guests have access to one of the world’s most attractive hotel loyalty programs – Le Club AccorHotels.   AccorHotels plays an active role in its local communities and is committed to promoting sustainable development and solidarity through PLANET 21 Acting Here, a comprehensive program that brings together employees, guests and partners to drive sustainable growth. From 2008, the AccorHotels Solidarity Endowment Fund has acted as a natural extension of the Group’s activities and values, helping to combat the social and financial exclusion experienced by the most disadvantaged members of society. Accor SA is publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACRFY) in the United States.

If you wish to learn more, click here to access the full deck containing the findings:  The Australian Luxury Traveller 2019