Virtuoso reports soaring demand, and cost, of luxury travel

Network bookings rise 62% on last year, as nightly rates surge 16%

Virtuoso has reported demand for luxury travel experiences continues to flourish, as bookings within the network for 2023 leaped 62% higher than in 2022.

David Kolner, Executive Vice President at Virtuoso provided the latest intel (based on transactional data sourced from Virtuoso’s travel agency members) at the 2023 Symposium in Montreal, Canada last weekend.

This year’s Virtuoso bookings are a whopping 91% higher than in 2019, and with Tourism Economics foreshadowing that the global travel and tourism recovery still has another 12 months to go before fully restored, it’s clear from Virtuoso’s sales figures that luxury is leading the way forward.

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Kolner also highlighted that the booking window for Virtuoso transactions is tightening, down from 85 days in advance in 2019 and 109 at the beginning of 2021, to now be just over two months – or as little as 64 days.

According to Virtuoso sales data, the network’s preferred hotels are experiencing extremely high demand, with bookings 193% higher than in 2019 and 77% over 2022.

Hotel average daily rates (ADR) continue to soar, as summer 2023 rates average nearly US$1,700 per night, 16% higher than in 2022 and 69% more than in 2019. Domestic ADR growth for US travellers is slowing slightly in 2023, up 6% on average from the same months in 2022; however, ADRs for 2023 summer travel (June through August) are pacing 12-25% ahead of 2022.

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Cruising is also looking very strong, with total Virtuoso bookings up 55% compared to 2019. By sector, however, mass market cruising sits at 30% higher, while premium is up 61%, luxury is up 79%, expedition is 83% higher and river cruising is up an incredible 128%.

Another source of optimism for Virtuoso and its network: data showing its target market of high-value travellers – HNW and UHNW individuals – is expected to grow by 34%, exceeding 62 million worldwide over the next five years (*source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report).

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