SOURCE: Luxury Institute

November 20, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: Vacation Homes and Exotic Vacations Luxury Experiences of Choice for Wealthy U.S. Consumers

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 20, 2008) - Wealthy U.S. consumers report that owning a vacation home is the item they most desire, and taking exotic vacations is their most sought-after luxury experience, according to a Luxury Institute survey of U.S. consumers with average household income of $332,000 and average net-worth of $3.3 million. The study was developed with Resonance Consultancy Ltd.

According to the survey, wealthy U.S. consumers place more importance on experiences such as owning a vacation home, taking vacations, working from home and taking extended time from work, than traditional luxury items such as jewelry, fashion and personal services.

"Especially in this challenging year, as they struggle to keep their businesses alive, wealthy consumers value free time above all. The wealthy, most of whom are self-made Main Street folks, are just like the rest of us except that they have sacrificed more and risked more to create value for their customers and jobs. One day when their kids and grandkids Google them, most wealthy Americans will make their families proud," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute.

In ranking the desirability of a variety of luxury items, 56% of wealthy U.S. consumers ranked owning a vacation home as "very desirable," vaulting it to the top of the list, while 43% say they are considering purchasing a vacation home. Fifty-one percent ranked taking exotic vacations as "very desirable."

"Despite the gloom and doom in the real-estate market, the luxury vacation home market seems well positioned for the long term as the affluent seek to fulfill their ownership aspirations," said Chris Fair, president, Resonance Consultancy.

When at home, the wealthy participate in typical recreational activities such as watching television (95%), dining out (95%), and surfing the internet (93%). Activities they most want to try include participating in fitness classes (35%), going to the gym (29%) and volunteering (26%).

This latest WealthSurvey (Leisure Preferences of the Wealthy), along with 10 new surveys per year, a database of dozens of consumer surveys, the Wealth Report newsletter, plus select networking with trusted peers, are available to members of the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), an online community for luxury professionals who wish to learn how best to serve luxury consumers, for $995.00 per year. Alternatively, the WealthSurveys and Wealth Report newsletters can be purchased á la carte in the Market Research section of the Luxury Institute's Online Store (www.LuxuryInstitute.com).

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings, reviews and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to www.LuxuryInstitute.com.

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