What’s Hot in Luxury Travel for 2017
More Americans are planning luxury vacations in 2017, according to a new, nationwide survey of travel professionals.
Travel Leaders Group polled 1,240 of its travel agency owners, managers, and frontline agents who book luxury travel about the trends they’re seeing for this year. About 30 percent of the respondents indicated that luxury travel bookings for 2017 are higher than they were in 2016, with approximately 52 percent reporting that bookings are about even with last year.
There are signs of growth, too, when it comes to transportation and lodging. About a quarter of the travel agents indicated that their 2017 luxury hotel bookings have increased somewhat or significantly, and the same percentage reported an increase in Premium (First Class/Business Class) airline reservations. In both cases, about half of the respondents said that bookings so far are about the same.
Cruises remain a popular choice. When asked to name the top three international destinations for their luxury clients in 2017, European river cruises came in number one, followed by Italy, Caribbean cruises, Mediterranean cruises, and Mexico. Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, Jamaica, and England round out the top 10.
Twenty-eight percent of agents said that their luxury river cruise bookings have increased somewhat or significantly, with the same percentages for other luxury cruises and bookings for suites on cruise ships. When it comes to luxury tour bookings, approximately 23 percent of respondents said that they’re up somewhat or significantly in 2017 compared with 2016.
Australia, Italy, and Ireland routinely top the list of international “dream” destinations for American consumers. So it’s not surprising that they’re popular among luxury travelers, with many travel agents reporting that clients have booked trips to those spots for 2017.
Rome (and Vatican City), Tuscany, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast are among the most popular spots for travelers headed to Italy. Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, and Melbourne are at the top of the sightseeing list for Australia. Nearly all travelers to Ireland want to spend time in Dublin, but they also have the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry on their lists.
Travel Leaders also asked agents about their clients’ interest in a variety of future travel experiences.
Nearly a quarter of respondents indicated that their clients are already expressing interest in Crystal Luxury Air, a new venture from Crystal Cruises that will offer trips on a private jet—a customized Boeing 777 that’s been outfitted with luxurious in-flight bedding, state-of-the-art entertainment systems, a separate dining area, bar and lounge, an onboard chef, and a wine cellar. The inaugural 27-day round-the-world journey leaves from New York City August 31 and includes stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, and Paris. Other trips, from 15 to 29 days, have been created around a variety of themes, from the South Pacific to iconic sites around the globe to a trip that will take travelers to some of the world’s best grape-growing regions and wineries.
For help planning a luxury vacation anywhere in the world, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793 or info@TravelLeadersCOS.com.