The Luxury Travel Industry’s Outlook on 2017: Optimistic But a Bit Nervous

The Luxury Travel Industry’s Outlook on 2017: Optimistic But a Bit Nervous

Strategic Vision's 2017 Pulse of the Industry Survey reveals that top travel management firms expect to see growth. But security, political stability, and Zika remain pockets of concern. The U.S. luxury travel industry is predicting a strong year for 2017, citing the resilience of the post-election economy and increased consumer confidence as main factors. But it does expect some areas of softness and concern, particularly around international travel. These are the conclusions of the Pulse of the Industry Survey conducted this February by Strategic Vision, a global marketing communications firm servicing the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Survey respondents, which include senior executives of the nation's leading luxury travel management firms, bridging the leisure, corporate and meetings & incentives sectors, are largely optimistic about their clients' 2017 travel sentiments. "The…
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Highly Affluent Travelers – An Update

What do highly affluent travelers really want in terms of vacation travel? Research firm YouGov asked that question in a recent poll of such travelers (defined as those with household incomes over $350,000), and the results are key to understanding the new mindset for luxury travel. Here are a few key findings on this valuable survey that I thought were highly relevant to the travel market, focusing on what these highest-end travelers value in a hotel or resort experience and how they use travel advisors. Who are Highly Affluent Travelers? YouGov’s survey can create a number of consumer breakouts, but for today we are talking about highly affluent travelers split into two groups: The first group called Extraordinary Travelers, who have taken a private jet vacation (hence the term “extraordinary”)…
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Our New Client Can Help Grow Your Brand

Peter J. Bates, CTC President January 13th, 2017 Dear Colleague Happy New Year! We have been passionate about travel, hospitality and publishing since we created Strategic Vision eighteen years ago. We share this passion with our amazing clients who day in and day out create experiences and make lasting memories – whether our clients are welcoming guests to their island, creating dreams through their content or making these dreams a reality in their amazing hotels throughout the world. We are proud of our work in growing luxury brands in a constantly evolving marketplace. Recently, we have been retained by SK+G, a firm that shares our passion for hospitality and tourism. We have a common mission, "To make our clients' brands the most coveted among their customers, guests and clients." SK+G has…
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What’s Trending in the Luxury Travel Market

As 2016 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on changes we have seen in the luxury travel sector this year, and more importantly what new developments we might anticipate in 2017.  With that in mind I wanted to look at a few developing trends that I believe we all need to take into consideration as we consider the short-term future of the luxury travel market. I’ve selected six trends from two market research firms on the future of travel, including “2016 Future of Luxury Travel Report” by Resonance, and “The Future of Travel” by Qubit. Here’s a summary of those trends, as well as my thoughts on each of them. Travel as Transformational Resonance’s survey finds luxury travelers are seeking transformational experiences that allow them to learn new…
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Using Social Media to Find New Prospects

One of the biggest challenges we all face is finding good prospects for premium customers. Indeed, travel companies—including airlines, cruise lines, hotels, travel agencies and tour operators—are constantly seeking new ways to obtain prospects and win more business from existing customers. Many travel companies are turning to social media to find these prospects as well as communicate with their existing clients and business network on a daily basis. Such social media outlets as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, among others, represent huge opportunities for travel companies seeking new customers, as well as ways to better address the needs of their existing travelers. What LinkedIn’s New Survey Says Earlier this year, LinkedIn completed a survey of business and leisure travel that provides travel companies with ways to better understand modern travelers and…
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The Outlook For Affluent Travel

In the current climate of political and economic uncertainty, and terrorism reports dominating our news media, it is important to keep focused on how these issues impact the affluent travel market. Luxury travel advisors, deluxe hotels, luxury cruise lines and other upscale suppliers are keenly interested in the answer to that question, so I asked Cara David, managing partner for YouGov, for her firm’s latest survey of the U.S. affluent market. YouGov is a global market research firm that captures the views and perspectives of over 4 million consumers worldwide. One of YouGov’s most recent surveys captured the views of 2,515 U.S. based “affluent” consumers on a range of expenditure categories, including travel. The study analyzed differences between customer age profile and annual household income from Base Affluent ($150,000-$199,000 annual household…
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The TripAdvisor Effect

Since it began as a user-generated hotel review website 16 years ago, TripAdvisor has grown to become the most visited travel site in the world. That’s a remarkable achievement and one that hoteliers around the world have become keenly aware of when designing their marketing strategies. Over the past three years, however, TripAdvisor itself has morphed to include both metasearch and booking capabilities. It now stands poised to possibly become the third largest online travel agency (OTA), competing with Expedia and Priceline, along with their slate of other travel booking brands. This represents an opportunity, but also a threat to major hotel chains and independent hotels. On the other hand, TripAdvisor is walking a thin line in trying to balance its business in user-generated reviews, metasearch and bookings without offending…
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What To Do When Travel Crisis Strikes

It's happened again. This time it's the Zika virus that is impacting travel throughout South America, Central America, Mexico and even the Caribbean. It began in Brazil, which is top of mind these days for travelers because of the upcoming Olympic Games, set for August in Rio de Janeiro, but quickly spread to other countries. Every few years the global travel industry is hit with a virus scare, from H1N1 flu in Mexico to bird flu in Asia and the Ebola crisis in Africa. Zika fever is particularly alarming - an almost symptomless disease that is undetectably mild in most adults but in pregnant women can cause terrible birth defects in their babies. It is also particularly fast moving with a number of cases now reported in Florida, including three…
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The Importance of Agility

Agility is the one word that will define effective sales and marketing in 2015. Specifically, the ability of an organization to rapidly interpret, adapt, and respond to customer demands and changes in the travel industry. With today’s ever-evolving channels of distribution, changing demographics, and the continued emergence of new destinations, sales and marketing executives must be prepared to interpret these changes and move quickly to adapt. Agility is essential to improve revenues and to increase ADRs and bottom line growth. Travelers continue to learn about destinations in new ways, and hotels are opening everywhere across the globe in response to their demands. Major companies like Hilton, IHG, and Starwood are introducing new brands based on in-depth market research and opening properties in unlikely locations. Take for example the number of…
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Keep It Simple!

In line with my recent blog post about the use of technology in meeting rooms, I have come to the conclusion that hotels in the luxury sector still have much work to do when it comes to the design and implementation of in-room technology. As a business road warrior who spends countless nights in hotel rooms all over the world— predominately in the US, Europe, and Asia—keep it simple! Admittedly it has become much easier. Connecting to Wi-Fi in many hotel rooms no longer requires a technology degree, but there is still room for improvement. More hoteliers are including basic Wi-Fi access in the room charge. This is essential, and every hotel should understand that their guests expect it. Adequate lighting continues to be an issue with too many switches,…
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