Eighty-one percent of 600 surveyed luxury travelers believe that working with travel advisors is the only way to get a true luxury travel experience. That's up 7% from last year's "Annual Luxury Travel Report," put out by Flywire, a fintech company that helps advisors manage payments from clients.
Even more respondents (92%) said they are likely to use – or have already used – a travel advisor for trips over the next 18 months – up 5% from last year. And 67% said they could not imagine traveling without an advisor – up 1% from last year.
When asked why they're turning to travel advisors, one respondent said "An extended vacation with many destinations needs professional support." Another said, "They make trips as worry free as possible. The details are taken care of and all I have to do is show up."
Other reasons luxury travelers have for using advisors are:
- Travel advisors are a one-stop point of contact for their trips (90%)
- Travel advisors are the best way to create personalized travel experiences (87%)
- Travel advisors can help manage itineraries in real time (78%)
Among the key benefits respondents said they get from using travel advisors are:
- Taking care of everything for them (62%)
- Making sure they know about travel restrictions (60%)
- Solving problems when they happen (59%)
- Providing peace of mind (57%)
- Alleviating stress (48%)
- Helping with COVID-related travel changes (45%)
- Adding another layer of protection (44%)
The annual report also confirmed what Travel Market Report has been hearing from advisors and suppliers – luxury travelers want to go for longer and they want to spend more.
"Luxury travelers, in particular, are eager to continue to invest more in unique experiences to fill their cups up after years of staying home," the report reads.
Of the 600 surveyed luxury travelers, 84% said their next few vacations will be longer than those they took over the past 18 months. And 83% said they plan to spend more on travel in 2023 than they did in 2022 – up 11% from last year. For instance, survey respondents reported spending about $3,728 on spring travel in 2022. For spring 2023 travel, they anticipate spending $4,848.
Not surprisingly, younger travelers are boosting their travel budgets more than older travelers. Eighty-eight percent of Gen Z and Millennial travelers are planning to spend more in 2023 than they did in 2022; 81% of Gen X travelers reported the same.
Fewer boomers (68%), on the other hand, perhaps burdened by retirement plans that have taken recent hits, reported an increase in travel budgets.
Hybrid Travel Erodes Off Season
Another trend we've been hearing about – the rise of "off-season" travel – is also evident in the report's findings.
According to the report, 93% of travelers said travel is no longer limited to just one season, with 84% actually saying they prefer traveling in the "off season."
Eighty-five percent attribute their ability to travel most times of the year to hybrid work and 73% said they're more likely to combine business trips and vacations (also known as bleisure travel) than in the past.