What Affluent Travelers Want and expect?

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What Affluent Travelers Want and expect?

What do highly affluent travelers really want in terms of vacation travel? To understand the new mindset for luxury travel is not easy.

Who are Highly Affluent Travelers?

Who are Highly Affluent Travelers?

Today we are talking about highly affluent travelers split into two groups: The first group called Extraordinary Travelers, who have taken a private jet vacation (hence the term “extraordinary”)

In comparison, we also look at those highly affluent travelers who are either not aware of or have not taken a private jet vacation before.

Extraordinary Travelers are going beyond experiential travel to focus on transformational travel, a significant move that could have implications for how travel designers develop products in the future.

How Can the Hotel Help with the Search for Transformational Experiences?

How Can the Hotel Help with the Search for Transformational Experiences

When staying at a hotel, highly affluent travelers have definitive views on service, space and more. They say service at hotels should be natural and not forced. They prefer hotels with a feeling of casual elegance, and they expect to be treated like a VIP during their stay.

As for specific room features and desired hotel amenities, the expectations of both Extraordinary and Upper Affluent travelers are no different from other travelers. The top five for both categories of travelers are:

– Free Wi-Fi
– USB chargers and outlets near bed tables
– Complimentary coffee/tea in room
– Complimentary water
– Restaurant onsite

However, Extraordinary Travelers add in a demand for technology in the room and activities on property.

– Programmed activities at the hotel
– Celebrity chef at the restaurant
– Beauty salon on premises
– Ability to push content from my personal tablet/phone to the TV in the room
– A hotel-provided tablet in the room that connects with service, the front desk, etc.
– Mini-bar with premium drinks and snacks

Hotel designers and management companies or tour mangers need to ensure each of these factors are taken into consideration when designing new hotels, and establishing the service offering of brands targeting this high net worth traveler.

What Hotel Services Do They Desire?

What Hotel Services Do They Desire?

Hotel services desired by highly affluent travelers are very similar for both categories, but with higher percentile scores recorded for Extraordinary Travelers. The top five desired hotel services are:

– Concierge who can provide recommendations about the local area
– Shuttle services
– A concierge who can provide access to hard to get into restaurants or events
– 24-hour room service
– Private transportation from the airport

​Extraordinary Travelers also demand personal services, such as:

– Personal butler, concierge, or packing/unpacking services
– Personal fitness trainer and medical services

​This clearly emphasizes the importance of personalized services, and to never under estimate the value provided by staff interacting directly with guests to fulfill their individual needs.

What Attributes Do They Seek in a Hotel or Hotel Brand?

What Attributes Do They Seek in a Hotel or Hotel Brand?

Also asked highly affluent travelers about what attributes they look for in a hotel or hotel chain. The top five responses were:

– Offers impeccable service
– Have beautiful hotels
– Offers an unforgettable experience
– Exceptionally comfortable rooms
– Captures the local culture of a destination

Extraordinary Travelers are nearly 5-times as likely to say “staff that recognizes me and my preferences” as being extremely important in selecting a hotel.

It has never been more important for hoteliers to integrate the destination into both the sales process; for example promoting local events and festivals, as well as the guest experience itself including incorporating local artisans and culinary experiences into client itineraries.

How Do Highly Affluent Travelers Work with Travel Advisors?

How Do Highly Affluent Travelers Work with Travel Advisors?

Those who work with a travel advisor did so for the following reasons in order of importance, namely booking flights, lodging, cruises, for add on services or curated experiential, tailor made journeys,off beat vacations.

What Does It All Add Up To?

Extraordinary travelers are interested in being rewarded for their loyalty – less about the points they can earn and more about the respect they receive. Travel professionals who can build relationships are also ones who reduce friction in the traveling process, and cultivate loyalty. These travelers place greater emphasis around maximizing the time they have on vacation. They want special experiences programmed into the trip, they want to bring the comforts of home and they want a smooth transition. High touch? Yes. High reward? Absolutely.