How Do Affluent Travelers Use the Web?

Affluent travelers are increasingly relying on the web for vacation planningWhere do affluent travelers go when they’re thinking about their next vacation? To the internet, of course!

A new study by Google and Ipsos MediaCT finds travelers are increasingly relying on internet research, including online reviews, to plan trips. People with household incomes of $250,000 or more were asked how they use technology for travel purposes. They go online for:

  • Research: 70% said that they start researching online before they decide where or how they want to travel.
  • Inspiration: 64% go to the internet for ideas – the same percentage that seeks insights from family friends or colleagues. Of those surveyed, 76% said the internet was extremely or very important as a source of travel inspiration, and 72% cited travel agents.
  • Planning: a dominant 87% go to the internet – the top source of information.

[Read more…]

Where Are Today’s Hottest Luxury Destinations?

italy_cinque_terreWant to know which luxury destinations are big sellers? Or which hot spots are showing the fastest growth among affluent vacationers?  Virtuoso has released its first Consumer Travel Trends Report as a measure of which luxury destinations are attracting upscale travelers.

The report found that European countries dominated the Top 10 Destination list, while some lesser-visited nations showed significant growth on the Virtuoso Hot List. [Read more…]

Why & How Are Wealthy Travelers Traveling?

active_travel_7What motivates wealthy travelers to make the vacation choices they do?  Each year Virtuoso surveys its luxury travel advisors and compiles their feedback on the hottest travel trends and destinations in the Luxe Report.

The 2014 Virtuoso Luxe Report provides insights into not just where people are going but also how and why they’re traveling: [Read more…]

What’s Hot in the 2014 Luxe Report?

LuxeReport_logoEvery year Virtuoso polls its travel advisors on where their clients are going now – and what styles of travel are popular.  The result is the Virtuoso Luxe Report, which forecasts the latest luxury travel destinations and trends and offers insights into the patterns and decisions of the world’s wealthiest travelers.

In 2014, multigenerational family travel maintained its stronghold as the top trend. But this year’s Luxe Report shows active and adventure travel as a dominant trend predicted for all travelers – families, couples, honeymooners, retirees – especially in more exotic destinations.

italy_family_shutterstock_90768017Other Luxe Report highlights: [Read more…]

Find an Advisor Who’s Right for You at Virtuoso.com

virtuoso.com home pageAre you fantasizing about a big trip in 2014?  Or a vacation with experiences customized just for you?  Or perhaps you have a milestone celebration coming up and want to commemorate it away from home?

Those are just three examples of the sorts of vacations travel advisors excel at creating.  If you’re looking for an advisor who’s a perfect fit for you, Virtuoso has unveiled a tool to help you find one at www.virtuoso.com. [Read more…]

Now’s The Time to Book Virgin Galactic Space Travel

space travel: richard bransonExcitement and momentum are building for Virgin Galactic’s first commercial space travel.  Just announced: that first flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo will be broadcast live on NBC News and a host of other NBCUniversal platforms, including CNBC, MSNBC, NBCNews.com, Syfy and The Weather Channel.

Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and his adult children, Holly and Sam, will be on that flight.  “Virgin Galactic is thrilled that NBCUniversal will join us on our exciting first journey to space,” said Sir Richard. “In this first chapter of commercial space travel, we will help make space accessible and inspire countless more people to join us in the pursuit of space exploration and science innovation.”

To watch the announcement on the Today show, click here. [Read more…]

Shopping Tourism: Retail Therapy on Vacation

Tourists love to shop. Studies by the U.S. Travel Association and the Department of Commerce show that shopping and dining are the top two activities of travelers. In fact, travelers spend one-third of their total travel funds on retail purchases.

Shopping tourism: couple on vacation

Shopping tourism is appealing to all kinds of travelers

Shopping Tourism On the Rise

According to Ian Stazicker, tourism director – global marketing at Virtuoso partner Value Retail, shopping tourism account for 40 percent of global luxury spending. Value Retail operates nine Chic Outlet Shopping open-air designer villages outside European hubs such as Paris and Madrid, as well as one in China.

Retail tourism is growing so fast, says Stazicker, that “between 2008 and 2012 we have seen an increase in visitors of more than 43 percent to 30 million.” [Read more…]

The Latest Trends in Active & Specialty Travel

Active travel: bicyclingWhat travel niche is growing at a rate of 65 percent a year?  If you guessed active travel, you’re right.  A study by the Adventure Travel Trade Association and The George Washington University also found that last year consumers spent upwards of $345 billion on active itineraries.

Customized Experiences

Virtuoso travel advisors and suppliers excel at customizing specialty travel experiences to the exact tastes of their travelers. “For art lovers, we can arrange visits to private galleries and artists’ showrooms along with one-on-one meetings with some of Africa’s foremost art authorities and artists,” explains Anna Pinto, executive director of Micato Safaris in New York, New York. [Read more…]

The Inside Track on the World’s Hottest New Hotels

Virtuoso Preview: Rosewood Beijing

Rosewood Beijing, China (opening March 2014)

Do you enjoy staying at buzzworthy new hotels?  How would you like to have access to a list of the world’s most-talked-about new properties – and enjoy special amenities while staying at them such as complimentary breakfasts and hotel credits?

Virtuoso Preview allows clients of Virtuoso travel advisors to stay in these emerging luxury hotels before the rest of the world discovers them.  You’ll be in the forefront of the hottest trends in global hospitality when you stay at one of the memorable Preview properties. [Read more…]

Cruising Perfect for Multigenerational Family Vacations

family vacations: multigenerational travelTalk about a family trip to remember.

Marcella Rappoport, a Virtuoso travel advisor in New York, recently planned a Caribbean cruise for a family celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. “They chartered a ship and invited the people who married them, and the people who were at their wedding,” she recalls. “There were 420 people on board. They brought a rock band and a couple of singers they liked, and a chef from their hometown of Chicago. The mother wore her wedding dress and they had vow renewals.”

Family Vacations: A Growing Trend

The 2013 Virtuoso Luxe Report found that family and multigenerational travel are big trends, with river and luxury cruises taking the next two spots. The report also found that spending time and reconnecting with loved ones were among the top reasons motivating travel. Not surprisingly, Virtuoso travel advisors have seen a lot of crossover in these trends, with more people booking multigenerational cruises over the past three years. [Read more…]