Fall and Festive Travel Bookings Up 173% Over 2019: Virtuoso

Last week at its annual Travel Week, held August 13-19 in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & SpaVirtuoso shared data on how its clients are traveling. The good news? The years of pent-up demand has resulted in a surge in flights and bookings, with the luxury travel network saying, “it’s undeniable that the future is bright.”

Virtuoso additionally shared details about who is traveling, where they’re headed, why they’re visiting and beyond. Here’s what we learned.

Who Is Traveling?

The most popular way is traveling with a spouse or significant other, followed by traveling with friends and family trips with kids under 18. While traveling with friends decreased in popularity over the last few years (from 46 percent in 2019 to 36 percent in 2022), it’s still the second-most popular form of travel.

Solo travel is on the rise—but not in the way you might expect. Interestingly, among Virtuoso clients, the highest level of interest is coming from the 65-plus age group, increasing from 4 percent in 2019 to 18 percent in 2022. Meanwhile, the interest among travelers ages 18 to 34 has dropped from 12 percent in 2019 to 6 percent in 2022.

Younger, wealthier travelers are getting out there in a big way, added Virtuoso. The 18- to 34-year-old age group averaged 2.2 more international trips in the past year than the 65-plus age group and 1.3 more domestic trips. DIY travelers took about the same number of trips in the past year as Virtuoso-advised travelers, but the latter took longer trips, spending more nights in hotels, rentals and cruises and skewed more toward international trips.

Three-quarters (78 percent) of travelers say they’re ready to travel now. For 87 percent of those polled, the dollar’s parity with the euro plays a factor, and only 35 percent say that this summer’s air travel complications have caused them to cancel or postpone plans.

Where Are People Traveling?

The hottest global summer destinations are the United States, Italy, France, Canada and Greece, followed by the U.K., Spain, Mexico, Ireland and Switzerland.

Looking towards the end of the year, the U.S., Italy, France, Mexico and Canada are among the top international destinations for travel September through December. And hotel bookings for fall and festive travel (September 1 to January 15) made through July of this year are at 173 percent of where they were at the same point in 2019.

While nearly half (45 percent) of people say they’re ready to travel now or within the next three months, another 38 percent say it will be six to 12 months before they do so.

Why Are People Traveling?

Disconnecting from the routine and stresses of home and connecting with new people, culture and ideas are primary reasons for travel in 2022, Virtuoso said.

Purpose-driven travel remains paramount. Environmentally friendly philosophies and practices and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage are top-of-mind concerns, especially among younger travelers (Gen Z and Millennials). Even better: Many are willing to pay more for such experiences. Fifty-six percent of Gen Z and 46 percent of Millennials said they would pay more for eco-friendly tourism practices and 58 percent of Gen Z and 52 percent of Millennials said the same for travel that preserves natural and cultural heritage.

Visit www.virtuoso.com.

This story originally appeared on www.luxurytraveladvisor.com.

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