Do you like to fly private, stay in five-star hotels and go to exotic locations that most travelers only dream about? Well, I guess most people would answer yes to all of the above if they could afford it. Unfortunately, many of us don't have those available funds, but the luxury traveler does. And several recent surveys reveal the expectations of those who can afford the best. SafetravelRX highlights some of the latest trends; surprisingly, not all of them are about amenities.
1. Personal Health and Safety
As the saying goes, "the one thing that money can't buy is health," which is why many luxury travelers still want reassurance that precautions are in place to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID. Geopolitical instability, such as the war in Ukraine, is also a concern, as are personal safety and violent crime. While that won't stop many avid travelers from exploring the world, it does mean they want to feel confident that everything possible is being done to ensure their trip goes smoothly.
Based on the concerns described above, it’s not surprising that travelers demand flexibility. Most luxury travelers pay attention to cancellation policies, and a majority (69%) don't want to be charged a fee if they must cancel or reschedule. With COVID cases rising again and the unpredictability of the world stage, many travelers don’t want to bear the brunt of situations beyond their control, even if they can afford it.
While crossing off those bucket list trips is still a goal, it's about more than just saying you were there. Many people want to experience the culture, and local food, learn the history and come away with a better understanding of the places they visited. Other travelers are interested in trips that focus on their overall wellness. Given the state of the world, that is not all that surprising. In a September 2021 American Express survey, 76% of respondents said they wanted to spend more on travel to improve their well-being, and 55% said they’d pay extra for wellness activities on future vacations. So, whether it's taking care of the body or opening the mind, luxury travelers want their travel to be an experience, not just a trip.
4. Sustainability and Values
Eighty-six percent of all travelers want to take more sustainable trips, according to Accenture. And for those between the ages of 25 and 44, brand values also mattered. Fortunately, that message has been received, and both small and large organizations are responding. While many independent properties distinguished themselves early on with their eco-friendly policies, more prominent brands took longer to get on board. But companies like Hilton have now set goals to double their investment in social impact and cut their environmental footprint in half by 2030. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has been working towards reforms like eliminating single-use plastics throughout all properties, pledging to remove all endangered seafood species from menus, and only buying responsibly sourced coffee, tea, vanilla, and cocoa.
So, while the affluent traveler is not afraid to spend money, they demand value for their dollar. They expect travel providers to ensure there are adequate safety precautions. In fact, one study found that luxury travelers will increasingly pick and choose their destination based on perceived safety, vaccination rates of the population, and ease of COVID testing. They also want flexibility should the unexpected occur. Lastly, they expect personalized experiences and sustainable practices to be in place. And while that may sound like a lot to ask, the upside is definitely there for travel providers if they can meet the demands.
safetravelRX can help keep you safe while you travel with real-time destination updates, access to vetted doctors and pharmacists globally, and an emergency call button that works wherever you are in the world. Download the safetravelRX app here.
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