ILTM white paper underpins the true value of luxury travel

Why the $2.05t "global luxury travel universe" will kick start economies post COVID-19

ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) has this week released a white paper demonstrating the importance of the US$2 trillion “global luxury travel universe”.

Produced in partnership with Barton Consulting, the Luxury Travel’s True Impact on Business and Employment paper addresses the “seismic consequences” of the coronavirus pandemic on travel and tourism.

The paper aspires to bring the scale of the global luxury travel industry into focus, providing clarity to the sheer number of people employed both directly and indirectly in the travel sphere.

Comparatively speaking, the global automobile sector, valued at US$4 trillion, is double that of global luxury travel. However, the global fashion retail industry is well below travel at US$1.3 trillion and the global consumer electronics industry is a fraction over half the value of travel, at US$1.1 trillion.

Key findings highlighted in the paper include:

  • 105.9 million individuals are working directly in the travel industry in the top 50 most visited countries, with travel and tourism contributing 10.9% of GDP in those nations.
  • The global luxury travel ecosystem of activities (valued at US$1.54 trillion) employs an additional 62 million people around the world (a population larger than Italy).
  • High-net-worth individuals (worth more than US$1 million) control over US$94 trillion of wealth. Although HNWIs are only 0.3% of the global population, their wealth and high spending sustains the livelihoods of many of the ecosystem’s workers.

“Numbering just 22.8 million people globally, HNWIs are the most valuable group of travellers. With greater wealth at their disposal, this group also tend to book longer trips, more expensive rooms in luxury lodging and are significantly more likely to book valuable premium seats on airlines,” the paper states.

“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted how strong and truly global the connection is between the providers of ecosystem activities and experiences and the international wealthy luxury travellers who seek them,” the white paper concludes.

Alison Gilmore, ILTM Portfolio Director, says the white paper aims to provide some new insight, facts and figures to provide hope and offer comfort to those who have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown of the travel and tourism industry.

“When the time is right a new future will emerge and ILTM is here as a catalyst, however long this journey takes,” Gilmore said.

View ILTM’s commissioned 10-page white paper here.

To support the findings, ILTM has also produced a 28-minute podcast entitled Luxury Travel’s True Impact on Business and Employment, which can be accessed on this link.

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