What is driving the growth of luxury travel? Consumer spending, social media and working women

Several key factors are driving this growth, including a growing preference for personalized service, reliable transportation, exclusivity, rising middle and upper class disposable income, an increase in micro-travel and media social. Additionally, the growing political stability around the world in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, human rights, racism, citizenship and visa availability also has a significant impact.

This all equates to more luxury bookings for 2022, says Nadiya Makarenko, senior vice president, Travel Edge Network.

“Customers have used the past two years to refocus on what matters to them when it comes to travel. They are reassessing and implementing their bucket list trips, such as African safaris to witness seasonal migration, long-stay European trips combining city and countryside, and polar expeditions.

“Must-see trips are here to stay – but with renewed perspective and intent. We see travelers seeking a sense of accomplishment by reaching out to our advisors to book these trips with a ‘now or never’ mentality. They achieve this with the support from a travel consultant by their says,” says Makarenko.

At TL Network Canada, Vice President Christine James also reports a significant increase in overall bookings compared to 2021, particularly in the luxury segment.

“Clearly there is pent-up demand as most Canadians have not been able to travel in 2021, and more recently with reduced re-entry requirements we have seen a marked increase in bookings over the past few years. weeks. We are even surpassing 2019 booking trends,” says James.

MICRO JOURNEYS

According to the report, the luxury travel market is expected to be driven by an increase in microtrips, short getaways typically close to home. However, Makarenko and James say they see the opposite happening in terms of bookings.

“We find that travelers actually go to places longer to truly immerse themselves in the culture of an area,” Makarenko says, noting that due to flexible work styles, work travel and “ bleisure” are selling particularly well, up 25% over recent years.

“Travel Edge professionals are seeing longer stays in city hubs, including long-haul trips to Europe and South America, and the length of those trips has tripled over the past three years. as the majority of long-haul travelers now take 10 or more trip days,” says Makarenko.

This trend, she adds, is expected to extend beyond business travellers, with families combining business and leisure as a popular way to reconnect after years apart due to the pandemic. To meet demand from leisure travelers and families, Makarenko notes that hotel partners are introducing new room types geared towards longer stays, in a variety of price ranges.

Although TL Network Canada saw an uptick in micro-trips (“shorter or domestic trips”) earlier in the pandemic due to travel restrictions, James says the needle has now shifted to longer getaways. indulgent.

“This year, customers are actually taking longer and more expensive trips due to pent-up demand over the past two years,” says James.

CONSUMER EXPENDITURE

Consumer spending, increasing millennial spending, and expanding tourism sector are all contributing to the growth of the luxury travel market. Growing middle-class populations are also a major contributor. According to the report, consumers are rapidly increasing their travel spending due to increased disposable income and celebrations and special events. Also, growing wealth and government easing of visa restrictions on travelers are driving the market forward at a rapid pace.

Also noteworthy is the increase in consumer spending as the labor force grows, with more women in the labor force. As a result, the market has witnessed an increase in the number of female travelers, which is driving the growth of the market.

SOCIAL NETWORKS

According to the report, another key driver for the growth of luxury travel is the growing use of the internet and the presence of social media. According to the report, traditional advertising is becoming less effective than user-generated travel content, and travel storytelling on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and blogging sites has “exploded”.

As such, Makarenko and James agree that social media has become an essential tool for travel agents, one that can boost bookings and instill confidence in travelers.

“Social media allows clients to get personal stories from advisors they trust,” says Makarenko. “Recently, a counselor spent the weekend with her family at a luxury partner. She posted the experience on her social media all weekend, and by Monday four customers had contacted her to book the same experience.

James says travel advisors should learn about social media, noting that TL Network Canada offers a number of training opportunities, certification programs, workshops and a community where like-minded advisors can network with continuously with other members and luxury suppliers. .

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