Survey findings reveal what affluent travellers want most

US poll by Kensington Tours offers insight on priorities for premium holidaymakers

Global luxury tour operator Kensington Tours has shared the results of its luxury traveller survey which focused on the behaviors and inclinations of affluent holidaymakers. The study of 400 North Americans by Opinium Research, involved 400 adults, each from household earnings over US$250,000, and have experienced luxury trips of at least US$10,000 in the past five years.

The research affirmed that affluent travellers are inclined to pay extra for exclusive benefits, such as insider access to destinations, no waiting in lines, and a seamless travel experience.

Key findings from Kensington Tours’ research:

Luxury travellers crave a seamless travel experience, and are willing to pay a premium for it.

Considering that two-thirds (66%) of luxury travellers report having felt frustrated due to waiting in too long of lines while traveling, it’s no surprise that nearly 7 in 10 luxury travellers (68%) report that they are willing to pay a premium for the ability to skip lines, avoid crowds, and experience private tours.

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Other offerings that luxury travellers would pay a premium for include personalised, bespoke trips tailored to their wants and needs (66%), one-stop planning (62%), and insider access to exclusive events (56%).

Insider access and no waiting in lines top list of affluent traveler priorities

Respondents also said their travel experiences would be somewhat or greatly enhanced by offerings typically provided by a luxury tour operator, such as access to popular attractions with no wait times (81%), privately guided tours without the crowds (78%), access to exclusive, world-renowned events (74%), and access to insider experiences not traditionally available to the general public (72%).

Other findings included:

  • Luxury travellers take more trips, and they are longer: A significant portion of luxury travelers (38%) report taking 3-5 trips annually, while 28% take 6-10 trips, and a notable 14% embark on more than ten trips each year and most of them average two weeks or more (57%).
  • They turn to a travel professional: Demonstrating the recognition among well-off travelers of the benefits of collaborating with luxury travel professionals, 72% of survey participants expressed their intention to enlist the services of travel experts for their upcoming vacation planning.
  • Intergenerational Travel continues to remain a priority: The popularity of multi-generational travel experienced a significant boost in the wake of the pandemic and continues to thrive, with 82% of those surveyed intending to increase their family travel this year.
  • Been there; done that; affluent travelers want to see something new – A significant number of respondents – 89% – plan to explore new destinations in 2024 with Switzerland, Norway, and Portugal named as top destinations.
  • Travel Pain Points: The most prevalent challenges and pain points include locating appropriate accommodations (41%), steering clear of tourist traps (38%), and coordinating activities (38%).
  • More space, increased privacy, and added exclusivity are in high demand: More than 50% expressed interest in distinctive experiences such as luxurious villa stays featuring in-house amenities and private yacht expeditions.

“The outcomes of our recent survey confirm the trends we’ve observed among our clients, who value an effortless experience, unique insider opportunities, elite lodging, and tailor-made journey arrangements,” said Helen Giontsis, President of Kensington Tours. “With these preferences in mind and proactively meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations, we are committed to continually developing unique offerings tailored exclusively for the luxury travel sector.”

These new programs include Beyond Villas by Kensington Tours, a private villa portfolio geared towards travellers who seek the ultimate privacy in the form of a luxury villa paired with tailor-made itineraries; Kensington Yachts to identify the perfect vessel matched with unique land experiences, luxury transfers, hotel and villa stays, and private jet and helicopter transfers; and Voyages by Kensington Tours that pairs the client’s cruise of choice with pre- and post-cruise experiences including the launch of exclusive private guided shore excursions that are privately guided and fully customized to destinations throughout the world.

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