SOURCE: Unity Marketing

November 05, 2009 07:55 ET

Long-Range Forecast for the Luxury Travel Market Is Mixed, According to a New Study by Unity Marketing

Prospects Bright for Personal Luxury Travel, While Luxury Business Travel Will Be Off; A New Trend Report Provides Predictions for the Luxury Travel Market Through 2010

STEVENS, PA--(Marketwire - November 5, 2009) - The long-range forecast for the luxury travel sector now through 2010 is mixed -- Bright and sunny for travel providers catering to the pleasure market; Storms and changing winds ahead for marketers that rely primarily on the business travel segment. This is according to a new trend report published by Unity Marketing "Forecast for Luxury Travel Through 2010: A Luxury Trend Report." It is based upon the results of a survey conducted in October 2-7, 2009 among 1,067 affluent consumers (avg. income $228,800).

Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, says, "So far in Unity Marketing's quarterly luxury tracking study, the luxury travel sector has been one of the categories slower to recover from the recession. The data shows that the recession for affluent consumers bottomed out at the end of third quarter 2008, but so far spending on luxury travel is down 22 percent for the first three quarters of 2009 as compared with same period last year. In effect, luxury travel was slower going into the recession, and is slower coming out."

More business travel planned on reduced budgets -- That means budget, discount, value are key words for travel providers that cater to the business market through 2010

The survey which looked at both the business and personal travel plans among affluent consumers (80 percent of whom are employed) found that while over 75 percent of business travelers expect to spend less or the same on business travel over the next 15 months, they will actually be increasing the pace of business travel. Danziger explains, "Net/Net: The research findings point to a modest increase in planned business travel, as a greater share of the market's most active travelers expect to be on the road more through 2010. But they also expect to spend less on that travel. 'Road-warriors' in the short term will be looking for value from the travel brands they patronize. The research finds they want more budget and business class hotels and budget, lower cost dining options. Low on their list of business travel priorities through 2010 are dining in five-star restaurants; first-class air fare; or staying in five-star hotels."

Affluents traveling for pleasure are likely to trade up to luxury level

Expectations for luxury travel through 2010 is much more positive in the personal travel sector than business travel. The survey finds that when affluents travel for their personal pleasure, they are far more likely to move up-scale to the four- and five-star accommodations that they have come to enjoy over the years. Danziger explains, "A trend toward increased spending on personal travel is noted in this survey. In the coming year luxury travel providers will be serving fewer business guests whose companies have put these brands on the forbidden list. Rather they must focus on services directed toward the primarily pleasure travel market."

New report provides facts and figures to give travel providers insight into the future trends in the luxury travel market

Contained in this new Unity Marketing luxury trend report, "Forecast for Luxury Travel Through 2010: A Luxury Trend Report," are essential facts and figures that will give direction to luxury marketers servicing the luxury travel sector:

--  How the recession has impacted the luxury travel market, including a
    review of luxury travel through 3Q2009, such as trends in spending, foreign
    and domestic travel choices, hotel brands favored by luxury travelers;
--  Business travel expectations, including number of business trips
    planned, trends in travel days and travel spending, and trends in business
    travel experiences including what services business travelers will demand
    more of through 2010;
--  Personal travel expectations, including number of personal trips
    planned and amount budgeted for travel, type of experiences planned,
    including luxury resorts, cruises, etc., trends in personal travel
    spending, and planned foreign destinations.

Luxury travel providers will find the sections of the report that explore what influences the luxury traveler in selecting destinations and travel providers especially valuable, as it helps brands identify strategies to connect more effectively with their target market. The survey studies:

--  Hotel features and services that most strongly influence the affluent
    traveler in selecting a hotel brand, such as the relative importance of
    concierge services, turn down services, room upgrades, etc.
--  The types of travel experiences desired, such as relaxation and stress-
    reduction experiences and fine dining/food and wine experiences, are rated
    and compared with results from 2006.  The report also rates for which
    segment of the personal luxury travel market these experiences are more
    important.  For example, women are more highly motivated by relaxation
    experiences, while men are more drawn to cultural and romantic experiences.
--  Factors that influence the luxury traveler in picking a destination.
    For example, whether they are more drawn to visiting new places and having
    new experiences or they would rather return to a favorite destination that
    has treated them well in the past.  The study also explores the relative
    importance of loyalty rewards program in attracting the personal luxury
--  How luxury travelers will book their travels.  The findings reveal a
    key opportunity for luxury travel providers to enhance the travel
    experiences for the affluent luxury traveler.

"This trend report is written specifically for travel marketers that want the most up-to-date and salient facts about the luxury travel market. It will help them understand the trends in the current market and ways they can find new opportunities in serving the luxury traveler. It provides an invaluable supplement to a company's own internal customer data by filling the holes and gaps about potential target segments not captured by internal company sources. It doesn't overwhelm the busy executive with a lot of excess baggage, but presents them with the facts and figures they need to make informed decisions," Danziger concludes.

Also included with the new luxury trend report, "Forecast for Luxury Travel Through 2010: A Luxury Trend Report," is the executive summary of the 3Q2009 luxury tracking study which details overall trends in spending in the 22 categories of luxury products and services measured in the Unity Marketing quarterly survey.

Click on this link to learn more about the trend report, or call Pam Danziger at 717-336-1600 to discuss your specific research needs.

For media: Danziger available for interviews. Charts, tables and graphs detailing major findings in the report also are available.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Pam Danziger