Affluents to Take 3 Vacations in 2015

Approximately 1/​2 of affluents are planning a vacation within the next 6 months, according to a new research study about affluents' luxury travel plans for 2015, from Unity Marketing. This year, they are looking for new luxury travel experiences, but at discounted prices.

The trend report, Affluents Will Travel in New Luxury Style in 2015, reveals the new luxury style for this year's affluent traveler. It is a guide to capture some of the roughly $8,000 they expect to spend on their next vacation.

Affluents plan to take 3 vacations on average in 2015, but they are waiting until the last minute to book. This works in their favor, as they carefully research all the available options, compare the many promotional offers received, and tap the Internet and social media for reviews and recommendations.

Top Foreign Destinations for Luxury Travelers in 2015

  1. Carribbean 39%
  2. Western Europe, including but not limited to France, Germany, Italy, Spain 29%
  3. Canada 18%
  4. Central America, including but not limited to Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala 17%
  5. The UK, England, Ireland, Scotland 17%
  6. Asia, including but not limited to Japan, China, India, Indonesia 15%

For travel planning, they are more DIY in 2015 and using travel professionals less than in 2013.

"This year the share of affluents who are undecided about their travel plans more than doubled from Unity Marketing's 2013 luxury travel study. Further, the projected budgets for their next vacation is lower than we've tracked since 2009," Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the new study says. "Consumer uncertainty and lack of confidence is never a good sign for marketers and that is the environment that travel marketers face this year."

Danziger continues, "The saying goes, 'Hope for the best, but plan for the worst,' and that should be the mantra for travel marketers this year. Given all the factors that can impact people's willingness to travel, especially overseas, travel marketers need to plan that their customers will be harder to commit to proposed trips this year. Those customers will be more demanding when it comes to getting the most for their investment and may look more aggressively to cut expenditures wherever they can. Further, this may be an especially good year for the travel insurance business."

Travel rewards programs less rewarding in 2015

Another interesting trend found in this year's survey is that rewards programs are less motivating for affluents in 2015 than 2 years ago. A growing share of affluents have no plans or are undecided if they will redeem rewards for travel this year. Further, affluents report being less influenced by collecting rewards points in their choice of travel provider.

"Overall, travel rewards programs are less rewarding to affluents in 2015 than in 2013. Since travel marketers rely heavily on rewards programs to market their services, this is an important call to action. It points to the need for travel providers to focus their marketing and rewards programs toward rewards that are more meaningful and motivating to affluent travelers. Saving money is always welcome, but just offering rewards in the form of discounts and savings may no longer be the ticket to building a loyal and high-​spending customer base," Danziger says.

AudienceSCAN data reveals 13.5% of U.S. adults plan to take vacations outside the U.S. in the next 12 months. 55% are men. French wine country could be in their futures, with 24% having visited a winery or vineyard in the past year.

Foreign vacationers are 80% more likely than average to pay attention to ads at the movie theaters and take action following them. 65% of the traveling audience took action after noticing a banner ad in the past year. Daily deals could divert their attention as well, since 27.5% started an online search after viewing one.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.