SOURCE: Luxury Institute

October 17, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: More Than Half of Wealthy U.S. Consumers Mix Work and Play on Vacation While Seeking Scenery and Nature

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 17, 2008) - While the majority of wealthy U.S. consumers receive 20+ vacation days annually, one-third report not using it all due to work, while 60% check-in with the office on vacation days, 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.

"Whether working for a corporation or self-employed, the line between work and play continues to blur for wealthy consumers," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute.

In choosing a vacation destination, wealthy U.S. consumers say "Scenery & Nature" is the most important factor, followed by "Cost" and "Cultural Attractions," highlighting a trend towards nature and culture-oriented vacations over the traditional trip to the beach. In fact, 30% hope to visit a "rare or remote landscape such as Antarctica" in the near future.

Internationally, 31% are planning a visit to the Caribbean or Mexico in the next 12-24 months. Italy is their destination of choice in Europe followed by France. In the U.S. the most popular destinations are:

-- #1 Florida and New York (Tied)
-- #3 North Carolina
-- #4 Las Vegas
-- #5 Hawaii

"North Carolina's beaches and mountains vault it to the top of the list," said Chris Fair, president, Resonance Consultancy. "It's not surprising that Tiger Woods chose to design his first U.S. golf course here."

In making travel arrangements, 57% of wealthy consumers book on-line. Thirty percent say they are willing to pay a premium for an environmentally friendly hotel or resort, but only 13% currently investigate the hotel or resort's environmental responsibility when planning.

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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