affluent traveler today: couple overlooking scenic rio de janeiro view
What motivates Virtuoso clients to travel? Exploring new destinations.

Affluent travelers today face many decisions when planning a trip. First class or business? International or domestic? Work with a travel advisor or do it themselves?

How do the well-to-do choose to spend their money, and how do they choose to travel? These eight facts about affluent travelers today reveal everything from what motivates them to see the world, to why they’re so willing to purchase luxury trips.

The well-heeled travel to explore new destinations.

Discovering fresh destinations was the top selection of travel advisors in the latest Virtuoso Luxe Report when asked why their clients are traveling. After that, advisors say clients are motivated by seeking authentic experiences, rest and relaxation, personal enrichment and spending time or reconnecting with loved ones.

Affluent travelers today make trip decisions based on input from friends and family.

According to the Luxe Report, word of mouth from friends or family is the most influential source of information for the travel decisions of Virtuoso clients. The next most popular selections were a travel advisor’s advice, travel website reviews and recommendations, travel publications and social networking sites.

Upscale travelers take long trips to international destinations.

The Luxe Report also uncovered the most popular type of leisure trip clients are booking. International trips of eight days or longer were by far the most common pick, followed by weeklong international trips. Next are domestic trips of three to five days, weeklong domestic trips and weekend getaways to drive‐to destinations.

affluent travelers today: couple overlooking water and town view of santorini
Trips of more than a week to international destinations are tops with Virtuoso travelers

Wealthy travelers fly business class.

Business class is the top preference for affluent travelers today as revealed in the latest Luxe Report. That’s followed by Economy‐Plus or similar, economy, and first class.

Luxury travelers put spending on trips ahead of goods.

When asked how they would spend $5,000, 87 percent of wealthy respondents said they would use the money for travel rather than a new watch or piece of jewelry. Affluents prioritize the experiences and memories they get from travel ahead of objects, according to a Martini Media survey.

The wealthy spend more on travel than other luxury categories.

A survey by Time Inc./YouGov predicts that overall luxury spending will rise 6.6 percent in the next year. But spending on travel is expected to jump more than twice that amount, by 15.9 percent. Overall, the top 10 percent of earners will spend more than $115 billion on travel.

Travel is the top passion of the affluent.

Two-thirds of affluent respondents to the Time Inc./YouGov survey cite travel as their number-one passion. Next was quality family time, which explains the popularity of family travel in the most recent Luxe Report.

affluent travelers today: couple on deck of cruise ship with snowy landscape behind them
Clients of travel advisors benefit from the extra service, the knowledge, the connections and the stress relief they receive

Affluent travelers today are more likely to work with travel advisors.

One in four affluent travelers today plans to work with a travel advisor during the next year, according to MMGY Global. That’s up from 20 percent in 2013, and is higher than the percentage of all leisure travelers. Of those who plan to work with travel advisors, 80 percent will do so because of the extra service they’ll receive if things go wrong, the advisor’s knowledge of destinations and travel providers, or their ability to take the stress out of travel arrangements.

If you’re interested in working with a travel advisor, Virtuoso has more than 9,800 of them around the globe. Click here to find one that’s a perfect fit for you.

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