No matter what beautiful, unique souvenirs you brought back from your last vacation, the most cherished are undoubtedly the memories that you formed. As a luxury travel provider, it’s common wisdom to us that, despite the well-deserved appeal of luxury goods, nothing comes close to a one-of-a-kind travel experience.

And travelers seem to agree: according to a recent report on affluent travelers by Martini Media, the overwhelming majority of the nearly 900 respondents surveyed said that they would rather put their assets towards travel than material goods. Let’s look closer at the survey and what it means for the travel industry.

The Numbers

Martini Media (a division of Evolve Media) conducted the survey this past spring, surveying 875 respondents on their attitudes towards travels pending. Respondents were those with household incomes of at least $100,000, and included “hyper affluent” respondents who comprise the top 3% of American incomes.

According to the report, not only were 80% of respondents willing to spend on travel before they spent on goods, but half were more willing to spend on travel and vacations than last year, and 20% of respondents have travel plans within the next year.

Experience is a Luxury Investment

While the affluent overwhelmingly prioritize spending on experiences over goods, the luxury quality of each experience still counts, which is a key piece of information for travel providers and hoteliers.

75% of respondents said they preferred to stay in a hotel over a home-share, like those available on AirBnB, due to the levels of service and amenities that they’ve come to expect. The reputation of the hotelier is also a major factor, and 63% of respondents affirmed that a stay in a luxury hotel is worth the price tag. 50% of respondents were also willing to pay extra to travel on their favorite airline, confirming that travelers are most likely to put their assets towards travel experiences that they feel will give them memories of a luxurious, unique and enjoyable trip.

Business or Pleasure? In This Case, Both

Another interesting insight that the martini report offers is the fact that many affluent travelers routinely combine business travel with leisure vacations. Since most respondents have a say in where they stay for business trips, hoteliers do well to have packages or programs that draw in business travelers and make business trips as efficient and productive as they are luxurious and relaxing. Many of our Partner hotels offer packages tailored to the needs of business travelers.

Direct Booking

In keeping with the desire to make experiences as enjoyable as possible, affluent travelers do a significant amount of research—about twelve hours per trip, starting about six months before the vacation starts. While millennial travelers prefer to book through third-party apps, most travelers in the “hyper affluent” income bracket still prefer direct booking with hotels, airlines and ground transportation providers.

At EmpireCLS, we strive to create a memorable travel experience each time, no matter how brief the trip. Learn more at www.empirecls.com.

Photo credit: Roderik Elme