Unpacking the Strength of the Luxury Travel Market

Luxury Beat
Our latest survey results reveal how the wealthy feel about the economy, service, and their next vacation. In early August, I reported on the results of a survey of wealthy U.S. consumers I conducted in partnership with Chandler Mount and his Affluent Consumer Research Company. Among our key findings: Demand for luxury travel was taking off, consumers were splashing out for bigger and further-flung trips, and younger folks use a different set of yardsticks to gauge their satisfaction with a travel brand. Since then, ACRC has been fielding the survey on a continuous basis, asking the respondents — U.S. adults earning $200,000 or more in household income and residing in affluent-dense neighborhoods — for their thoughts about spending, travel, service, and more. That lets us track how their outlooks are changing…
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Taking the Pulse of the Luxury Travel Consumer

Luxury Beat
Despite economic headwinds and geopolitical instability, luxury consumers will continue to travel Remember what the travel industry looked like one year ago? Travelers were hitting the road in droves, spending their ballooning savings, and satisfying their long-suppressed desire to travel. A new variant of COVID was spreading rapidly. And labor shortages among travel suppliers were causing disruption and dissatisfaction with how service was being delivered. Sounds a lot like Summer 2022, doesn’t it? Of course, there are many differences between what’s happening right now and a year ago. Many of those differences are clear from the results of a survey I just completed in partnership with Affluent Consumer Research Company, headed by Chandler Mount. As we did one year ago, Chandler and I surveyed affluent U.S. consumers on their sentiments and plans for…
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The Resurgence of Luxury Cruising

Luxury Beat, Uncategorized
What We Can Learn From How Cruise Lines Staged A Comeback Two years ago, at the peak of the pandemic, it seemed nearly impossible that cruise lines would escape the cloud created by COVID, darkening their reputation in health and safety. Today, however, pent-up demand and skyrocketing hotel rates have primed the market for cruise lines to gain market share exponentially. Through better bundled values, high-end service, and adaptive health and safety protocols, the trajectory of cruise lines is incredibly well on the rise. Within the last 30 days, Strategic Vision and The Affluent Consumer Research Company surveyed over 900 U.S. adults aged 25+, with a household income of $250,000+. From this research, the overall intention to cruise is up 12% from 2021, with a respectable 33% increase among those who say…
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That Was a Heck of a Quarter

That Was a Heck of a Quarter

Luxury Beat
How the Ukraine war, inflation, and market volatility impacted us — and what’s next? Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: Greetings from Saudi Arabia! I am visiting this unexpected destination to look at tourism development opportunities in Riyadh, Al-’Ula, Jeddah, and elsewhere. Saudi is fascinating, stunning, hospitable, and, from my Western perspective, very surprising. There are obviously very serious human rights concerns to take into consideration. But the country’s efforts to slowly open itself up to tourism has me thinking quite a bit about the future of our industry. More on that in a future column. For now, I am dwelling on the present, which is also surprising and stunning… for very different reasons. I am referring, of course, to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian and…
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What’s in Store For 2022 (It’s Not All Bad)

What’s in Store For 2022 (It’s Not All Bad)

Luxury Beat
Normally at this time of year I send you the results of our annual Pulse of the Industry Survey. This year, well, let’s just say that the pulse is a little bit hard to read at the moment. Once the patient stabilizes a bit (sorry to torture the metaphor) and there’s more clarity in the marketplace, we’ll survey our industry peers to understand their feelings about business and where it’s going. In the meantime, I have been speaking to a number of travel advisors about the current state of affairs and thought it worth sharing a few of the common threads I’m hearing. Not surprisingly, everyone wants to talk about the omicron variant and how travelers (and we) are reacting to it. The general consensus:  Travelers are feeling anxious and…
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