Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the U.S Luxury Travel market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

As in the rest of the industry, luxury travel was doing very well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Engagement in the luxury travel sector has actually risen among the general population since 2019, despite the pandemic taking a significant amount of time away from travel. This is because luxury travel experiences have become more accessible through pared-down luxury options such as unbundled business class flights. As this practice has become more widespread, it is up to luxury providers to know what motivates the general population and the affluent population so as to cater to each group’s specific luxury travel desires.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the luxury travel market.
  • How the ensuing economic downturn has affected the ability of consumers to engage in luxury travel.
  • What travelers view “luxury travel” to be, and what motivates each consumer segment to engage in the market.
  • How to better engage the growing segment of the general population that is going on luxury trips while still catering to the higher end of the market.

Covered in this report

Factors considered as part of a luxury trip: Fine dining, shopping, local cultural activities, private tours and attractions, spa visits, outdoor adventures, live events, line skipping to access attractions and much more.

Brands included: Four Seasons, SAYANNA, &Beyond, Manifest and many others.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Mike Gallinari, a leading analyst in the Travel & Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The general market consumer has been an increasingly important participant in the luxury travel market for the last several years. They have become even more visible as the COVID-19 pandemic has kept much of the traditional luxury travel demographic in their homes. In discovering how the expectations of the general population differ from those of the wealthy, luxury travel providers will be able to attract both sets of travelers.

Mike Gallinari
Travel & Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Luxury travel is not only for mature and wealthy adults
      • Figure 1: Most recent luxury travel experience, general population, January 2021
      • Figure 2: Distribution of luxury traveler demographics, general population and AHNW, January 2021
    • Impact of COVID-19 on luxury travel
      • Figure 3: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on luxury travel, February 2021
    • The dynamics of luxury travel
    • The general population sees luxury travel as an upgrade
      • Figure 4: Reasons for taking next luxury trip, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Luxury demands between segments amount to new vs better
      • Figure 5: Must-have components of luxury travel, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Pandemic leads to a desire for personal space
      • Figure 6: Pandemic-related luxury travel attitudes, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Luxury travel will benefit from getting greener in the long run
      • Figure 7: Attitudes toward environmental concerns, by age and household assets, January 2021
    • What it means
  3. The Luxury Travel Market – Key Takeaways

    • Half of adults engage in the luxury market
    • The wealthy aren’t the only luxury travelers
    • Interest in luxury goods is a key indicator of market participation
    • Those with higher incomes want normality
    • Consumers are getting back into financial shape
  4. Luxury Travel

    • Luxury travel on the rise among general population
      • Figure 8: Luxury travel experience, general population, May 2019-January 2021
    • Luxury travel among affluent travelers remains flat
      • Figure 9: Luxury travel experience, AHNW population, May 2019-January 2021
    • COVID-19 has dampened luxury travel among wealthier consumers
      • Figure 10: Most recent luxury travel experience, general population, January 2021
    • Impact of COVID-19 on luxury travel
      • Figure 11: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on luxury travel, February 2021
    • Lockdown
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
    • Luxury planning is more popular among those least concerned about COVID-19
      • Figure 12: Future luxury travel intent, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
      • Figure 13: Luxury travel intent, general population demos, January 2021
  5. Luxury Travelers

    • General luxury travelers are diverse in age and income
      • Figure 14: Distribution of luxury traveler demographics, general population and AHNW, January 2021
    • Luxury experiences win out over luxury goods
      • Figure 15: Attitudes toward luxury, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Consumers won’t jump after brands just for name’s sake
      • Figure 16: Attitudes toward luxury, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Interest in luxury goods is a key indicator of interest in luxury travel
      • Figure 17: Luxury travel plans – CHAID – Tree output, January 2021
  6. Market Factors

    • How income impacts travel outlook
    • Concerns about COVID-19 slightly elevated for high-income adults
      • Figure 18: COVID-19 worry, by HHI, January 2021
    • However, they’re the most comfortable engaging in travel behaviors
      • Figure 19: Comfort with travel activities during the pandemic, by HHI, January 2021
    • Adults with higher household income are most ready to get back to normal
      • Figure 20: Attitudes toward the pandemic, by HHI, January 2021
    • Wealth boosts advantages in vaccination
    • The pandemic wealth gap can make luxury more exclusive
    • Stimulus can boost economic confidence
    • Confidence in the economy is shaky, but improving
      • Figure 21: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2007-January 2021
    • Another round of stimulus checks is on the horizon
    • Improving employment points toward recovery
    • Unemployment is slowly improving
      • Figure 22: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007-December 2020
    • The rise of remote working can increase vacation time
      • Figure 23: COVID-19 employment situation, October 2020
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Travelers in different asset categories have different motivations
    • Brands are addressing various luxury traveler needs
    • Ease of planning is in demand
  8. Luxury Motivations

    • General travelers look to augment, AHNWs look to explore
      • Figure 24: Reasons for taking next luxury trip, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • For the AHNW traveler: Send them to new places
    • Four Seasons jet tour provides new horizons while incorporating pandemic traveler demands
    • Out-of-this-world luxury begins this year
    • For the general population: Focus on mental wellbeing
    • SAYANNA puts a focus on mental health
    • Personal fitness goes in-room
    • For both: Expand payment flexibility
    • Travelers can increasingly subscribe to luxury
    • &Beyond makes luxury planning accessible
      • Figure 25: &Beyond landing page, February 2021
  10. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • The AHNW traveler is more demanding of luxury
    • Luxury travel has different purposes for different target groups
    • Relaxation is the luxury travel theme of 2021
    • Pandemic habits map to existing luxury offerings
    • Luxury needs a green track for greenbacks
  11. What is Luxury Travel?

    • Indulgence, personal attention are distinguishing factors for high-end luxury travel
      • Figure 26: Descriptions of luxury travel, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Women may be open to indulgent travel post-pandemic
      • Figure 27: Descriptions of luxury travel, by gender and household assets, January 2021
      • Figure 28: Attitudes toward the pandemic, by gender, January 2021
    • Luxury providers can focus on unique offerings for younger travelers
      • Figure 29: Descriptions of luxury travel, by age and household assets, January 2021
  12. Luxury Necessities

    • AHNW looks for “new,” the general population wants “better”
      • Figure 30: Must-have components of luxury travel, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Dining and shopping are big draws for the general population
      • Figure 31: TURF Analysis – Necessary luxury components, January 2021
    • Some luxury features are important to women regardless of household value
      • Figure 32: Must-have components of luxury travel, by gender and household assets, January 2021
  13. Reasons for Making 2021 Luxury Travel Plans

    • Those with luxury travel plans intend to take it easy
      • Figure 33: Interest among luxury trip planners, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Despite unprecedented times, enduring messages prevail
      • Figure 34: TURF Analysis – Luxury travel motivations, January 2021
  14. Encouraging Travelers to Make 2021 Luxury Plans

    • Relaxation and exploration can also encourage reluctant participants
      • Figure 35: Incentives to take a luxury vacation among adults with no luxury travel plans, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Mental health messaging can cut through young consumers’ varied interests
      • Figure 36: Incentives to take a luxury vacation among general population adults with no luxury travel plans, by age, January 2021
  15. Post-pandemic Luxury Travel

    • The pandemic is creating opportunities among the general population
    • Social distancing is a key luxury attribute
    • New destinations can spark curiosity
      • Figure 37: Pandemic-related luxury travel attitudes, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Younger travelers are finding new destinations
      • Figure 38: Pandemic-related luxury travel attitudes, by age and household assets, January 2021
  16. Luxury Travel Planning

    • Travelers want control, but the stakes could be high
      • Figure 39: Luxury travel planning attitudes, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Providers should make work possible, but prepare for shorter trips
      • Figure 40: Luxury travel planning attitudes, by age and household assets, January 2021
  17. Luxury Travel and Sustainability

    • Luxury should take green cues from the general population
      • Figure 41: Attitudes toward environmental concerns, general population vs AHNW, January 2021
    • Sustainability is the demand of future luxury travelers
      • Figure 42: Attitudes toward environmental concerns, by age and household assets, January 2021
    • Sustainability spotlight: overnight rail provides a future luxury opportunity
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Direct marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 43: Luxury travel plans – CHAID – Table output, January 2021
    • Methodology
  20. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 44: Table – TURF Analysis – Necessary luxury components, January 2021
      • Figure 45: Table – TURF Analysis – Luxury travel motivations, January 2021
    • Methodology

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