Italy is tops, bookings are up, according to Travel Leaders’ new luxury survey

Italy is tops, bookings are up, according to Travel Leaders’ new luxury survey

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — The country that brought us Ferrari and elite fashion houses like Gucci and Valentino has been named the top destination for luxury travel in the coming year.

According to Travel Leaders Group’s Fall Luxury Travel Trends findings, Italy ranks first among top luxury destinations, followed by European river cruises, the United States, Mediterranean cruises and Australia. Upwardly trending destinations such as Iceland, New Zealand and Cuba were also among the top 15 destinations affluent clients are seeking.

“The allure of Italy is stronger than ever, particularly with affluent travelers who are seeking authentic, enriching experiences paired with a multitude of very high-end accommodations. Add to that the favorable exchange rate, and Italy is a huge magnet within the luxury sphere for American travelers” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.

In addition, 84% of the agent experts surveyed said that their luxury travel bookings are higher than or on par with this time last year. When asked what are the top resort amenities expected by their affluent clientele, agents responded with fine dining, private concierge-level access, spas, personalized or private check-in/checkout, and butler service.

“Selecting the right destination is just the beginning of what affluent travelers desire. Sophisticated local cuisine offers a culturally-immersive experience and is important to a significant number of our high-end clientele, including millennial travelers,” stated Gail Grimmett, President of Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group, both renowned for their best-in-class luxury advisors. “Our survey also clearly identified that simplifying and personalizing aspects of the trip with private check-in and check-out, private concierge-level access and butler service are musts for our clientele. In fact, each is expected, and that’s important for our industry partners to recognize.”

For luxury travel clients seeking land-based accommodations, the top selections booked by their luxury travel agent include: (1) 5-Star Hotels and Resorts, (2) Suites within 5-Star Hotels and Resorts, and (3) Suites within Hotels and Resorts with a rating of 5-Star + (plus) or higher.

For luxury travel clients seeking a luxury experience on a ship or vessel, Travel Leaders Group’s luxury travel agents were asked what they are booking most for their clients and the top responses were: (1) Luxury Cruise Ships, (2) Suites on Luxury Cruise Ships and (3) River Cruises.

These findings on luxury travel are part of the larger 2016 Fall Travel Trends Survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group from July 28 – August 24, 2016. Participants in the full survey included 1,145 travel agent experts from the flagship Travel Leaders brand, along with those affiliated with Travel Leaders Group’s Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders Corporate, Tzell Travel Group and units.

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