Although most travel service suppliers have watched many of their clients “trade down” to more affordable transportation, lodging and related options in recent months, “affluent travelers” (those with an annual household income in excess of $150,000, the top 8 percent of U.S. households) appear to be bucking the trend, says the Ypartnership’s new 2008 Portrait of Affluent Travelers.
According to the Ypartnership’s just-released 2008 Portrait of Affluent Travelers, 97 percent of these travelers took a domestic leisure trip during the previous 12 months (for an average of just under five leisure trips), and a remarkable 41 percent took at least one trip outside the United States (for an average of just over two such trips). Almost half (45 percent) took at least one business trip during the previous year (for an average of approximately eight trips). Among them, almost all took at least one domestic business trip (for an average of six), and fully one third (35 percent) traveled internationally on business (for an average of six such trips).
Although affluent travelers have been adversely affected by the financial turmoil that has emerged in recent months (particularly as it relates to the degradation of investment portfolio value), they remain rather sanguine with respect to their future travel intentions for both leisure and business, as revealed below:
TRAVEL INTENTIONS OF AFFLUENT TRAVELERS (Percent of Total)
Leisure Trips During Next 12 Months:
Plan to take MORE trips than last year: 25
Plan to take the SAME trips as last year: 58
Plan to take FEWER trips than last year: 14
Plan to take NONE: 3
Plan to spend MORE than last year: 35
Plan to spend the SAME as last year: 59
Plan to spend LESS than last year: 6
Business Trips During Next 12 Months
Plan to take MORE trips than last year: 29
Plan to take the SAME trips as last year: 48
Plan to take FEWER trips than last year: 16
Plan to take NONE: 7
Plan to spend MORE than last year: 38
Plan to spend the SAME as last year: 60
Plan to spend LESS than last year: 2
As revealed by the data, 9 percent (net) of affluent travelers expect to take more leisure trips during the next 12 months than they did during the previous year. A slightly higher percentage (13percent net) of affluent business travelers report a similar intention, and both numbers augur well for future demand from this highly desirable market segment. And although affluent travelers intend to spend more on travel services in the year ahead, other insights revealed in the survey suggest they will be demanding far more for their travel dollar!
For further information on the Ypartnership 2008 Portrait of Affluent Travelers visit www.ypartnership.com.