With American Express Travel’s 4th. quarter bookings up nearly 35 percent from last year and air bookings up more than 20 percent, American Express says its clear that the travel industry is gaining upward momentum.
While value continues to be a key factor in booking vacations, luxury travel seems to be leading the charge, American Express says. When comparing American Express bookings to last year, first class airfare is up more than 31 percent internationally and nearly 60 percent domestically. Luxury class hotels bookings are up more than 31 percent internationally, and nearly 48 percent domestically, American Express says.
For those looking to book luxury travel, American Express offers consumer three travel tips, including:
· Discover a new destination: Each year, new destinations emerge as hotspots offering luxury travel experiences. Currently, some of these up-and-coming destinations include:
o Eastern Europe
o Napa Valley and Sonoma County
o Canadian Rockies
o South America, particularly Cartagena, Buenos Aires, and Patagonia
· Book with a travel agent: Agents have extensive knowledge on destinations – from the best attractions to the hidden gems. Additionally, they can personalize and customize vacations to ensure travelers have a luxurious, once in a lifetime experience.
· Take advantage of loyalty and card programs: American Express notes its Platinum Card members who stay at one of more than 700 properties within the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program (including brands like Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental) will receive benefits including a room upgrade (upon availability), daily continental breakfast for two, 4 p.m. late check-out and an additional special amenity, like a spa or dining credit.