New Survey Shows Destination Preferences of Affluent Leisure Travelers

Urban destinations continue to top the list of vacation destinations preferred by affluent leisure travelers, with New York City and Las Vegas receiving top mentions according to the just-released Ypartnership Portrait of Affluent Travelers. Maui, San Francisco and Honolulu round out the top five in this nationally-representative survey of 800 U.S. adults living in households with a minimum annual income in excess of $150,000 (the top 8 percent of all U.S. households defined by current income) conducted during August of 2008.

According to the survey results, three in 10 affluent leisure travelers are interested in visiting New York City and Las Vegas during the next two years. One in four is interested in visiting Maui, San Francisco and Honolulu, and approximately two in 10 are interested in traveling to Orlando or San Diego. Four new destinations made the top 10 domestic list, which is conducted every two years, Honolulu, Orlando, Napa/Sonoma and Hilton Head Island.

Interest in visiting Europe during the next two years remains strong, with seven in 10 affluent travelers citing the region as their preferred international destination. Within Europe, Italy continues to reign as the number one choice for almost one-third of affluent American leisure travelers. The Far East, Mexico and Australia follow respectively. Interest in visiting the Caribbean, South Pacific and Africa declined since 2006, with interest in visiting the Caribbean reflecting the most significant decline.

The survey methodology used to gather the 2008 data differed from that in 2006. Specifically, data in 2006 were collected through the use of a mail consumer panel, and the data in 2008 were collected through self-administered, 40-minute online interviews.

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