The global luxury travel market is expected to rebound within a year, with most wealthy travellers planning their next vacation in 2020, according to a survey by the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM).
The survey, which polled over 1,000 personal travel advisors worldwide, aimed to understand the key drivers and early travel trends of wealthy consumers, as countries around the world start to ease lockdowns.
Two-thirds (64 per cent) of those surveyed said they had taken travel bookings from their clients amid Covid-19, with more than 50 per cent of those bookings due to take place before December 2020.
Some 72 per cent of concierge companies received substantial bookings. Of the air travel already booked, 39 per cent is domestic and 27 per cent is longhaul trips.
More than 50 per cent of all the planners and agents surveyed said they were confident the industry will rebound within a year. Of those yet to take a booking, 72 per cent anticipate a climb in bookings within three months.
The way luxury consumers travel are also set to change, with 59 per cent respondents saying that luxury automobile travel have emerged as their clients’ preferred choice for their first holidays.
Brittney Magner of Royal Travel & Tours in the US commented: “My clients are in contact constantly to ask what is open and what is safe – they are keen to go where and when they can as soon as possible. As the luxury travel market rebuilds outside the US, many of my clients are flying domestically, but also driving to explore their own country in the most affluent way.
“These first trips will be closer to home as families start to come together again, and the research also showed a preference for private villas too. Shorter trips were also preferred, meaning there could be more of them as the opportunity to ‘catch up’ occurs. The use of private jets is also high up on preferences so that their trips can be taken at short notice and allows for group travel to be within their own family and friends.”
The survey also found that of those considering other kinds of travel, 25 per cent are looking at river, sea and international cruises.
High-end travellers are also opting to spend their first leisure trips with family – more than half having already booked family travels, with almost 73 per cent planning to stick closer to home.
Greece, Italy, the Maldives and the Caribbean have emerged as hot options among the affluent.
Top choices for respondents’ next leisure trips are beach escapes, family travel, private villas, natural wonders, road trips, cruises, cultural and unique excursions/experiences.
At the same time, over 20 per cent showed preferences for sustainable and conscious travel, with health and wellness related itineraries coming in as a first choice.