Millennials and Gen Z identified as the new luxury traveller

Trend reports at LTC’s Global Luxury Business Leader Soiree reveal market shift

Nikki Glading kicks off the conference.

The inaugural Global Luxury Business Owners Island Soiree by Luxury Travel Collection kicked off at InterContinental Hayman Island this week, and on Wednesday delegates were taken through a series of travel trends, business principles and industry changes by Flight Centre Travel Group executives and other guest speakers.

While many thought-provoking ideas were presented throughout the day, one industry change provided the most food for thought: the rise of Gen Z and Millennial luxury travellers.  

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It’s a market shift already shaping the Australian luxury goods market. Data obtained by IBISWorld found rising household discretionary income and market polarisation are resulting in increased demand for luxury goods and services from younger demographics in Australia. As a result, the domestic luxury market has seen international maisons such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Cartier expand their physical footprints in Australia. 

Danielle Galloway, Global Managing Director for Luxury Leisure at Flight Centre Travel Group, and Rachel Kingswell, General Manager, Travel Associates, reported that luxury market growth was driven by Gen Z and Millennials in 2023 and that 50% of global luxury consumers will be Millennials by 2025. The pair cited Chanel’s animated commercial starring K-pop star Jennie Kim from BlackPink as a pivotal turning point in the way luxury brands are repositioning themselves to capture a younger market. 

“We are definitely seeing a shift in the demographic of our customers in the luxury space. Where we used to see a consumer of 55-plus, we’re seeing customers as young as 30,” said Kingswell. “We’ve seen an increase in our average bookings across the whole business, and that includes both our older demographic and repeat customers, and the new, younger, and aspirational customers over 30. They have a disposable income, see travel as a luxury and are spending on it.” 

“It’s a change and a progression rather than a replacement,” says Anna Burgdorf, Brand and Marketing Director, Luxury Travel Collection. “Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen an increase in enquiries for Travel Associates’ Signature Itineraries – the brand’s curated high-end experiences – from a younger demographic.” 

Guest speakers Alexandra Smart, Smart Alex Studio; Kirsten Galliott, Qantas Magazine; Wendie Lee, Flight Centre Travel Group.

Wendie Lee, Global Chief Product Officer (Technology) Luxury, took delegates through the rising popularity and integration of AI in the travel space, revealing that while Gen Z and Millennials are now using AI to search for things rather than Google, these demographics are also more likely to use a luxury travel advisor than any other generation before them.

To drive the point home, Shannon Fogarty, Global Product Director Luxury Travel Collection, explained that by 2045, Baby Boomers will pass around $53 trillion down to their Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z children, all of whom want luxury travel and will then have the means to pay for it, if not already.

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