When it comes to luxury travelers and their vacation desires, food is definitely a determining factor.
According to a survey by Travel Market Report of over 650 travel agents who sell luxury travel, when luxury travelers consider the types of travel activities that either drive or are an element of their luxury vacation, eating is at the top of the list. Fifty-nine percent of agents say their clients are very interested in both fine dining and trying local cuisines as an integral part of their trip.
Destination immersion trailed closely behind food as another attractor for luxury clients. More than half (51 percent) of agents said being able to explore a destination with a private car and driver is central to clients' trips – further emphasizing that luxury clients want to be pampered.
These are just some of the findings of TMR’s soon-to-be-released Outlook on Luxury Report, which among other questions, asked travel agents to reveal which elements of vacations are critical to attracting luxury travelers.
Respondents were asked to rate their clients' interest from a list of over 40 travel-related activities and offerings. Some of the highlights include 35 percent saying clients want to understand local culture; and 34 percent want VIP access. In fact, while sporting events and musical concerts do not drive a larger percentage of trips, having a ticket broker or DMC who can help identify what is happening while clients are visiting a particular place can mean extra sales and enhance the experience.
Not surprisingly, in terms of product, both luxury ocean and river cruises are of high interest to these travelers; while luxury trains and barges have nearly the same level of interest as safaris. Private jet tours may get a lot of press, but agents say they do not have many clients who are interested in them.
The survey also found that for destinations that value spending per visitor as a key measure, travel agencies focused on luxury or that have “big spenders” (that is, clients who typically spend at least $25,000, excluding air for a seven-day trip), are more likely to deliver clients who are going to spend more on dining, visiting attractions, and buying locally made and luxury goods.
The same type of client was attracted to suppliers offering niche luxury products such as safaris, barges and private jet tours.
The complete TMR Outlook on Luxury Report will be released next week.