Travel advisors on what luxury consumers seek

Luxury travel clients do a combination of experiences, like cooking classes, hiking and biking excursions, and immersive activities connecting them to the place.

Dream destinations, multigenerational vacations, and a desire for unique experiences are some of the trends driving luxury travel for the summer in 2022, according to travel advisors from the Global Travel Collection (GTC).

Luxury travellers
Luxury travel advisors report that their clients are excited to travel again, with some booking multiple trips.

The United Kingdom tops the list of international destinations booked by GTC travel advisors, a spot it’s held for the last five years. Other places in the top 15 include Italy, France, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Greece and Germany, followed by South Africa, Ireland, Australia, the Dominican Republic and Portugal.

Luxury travel advisors with GTC brands report that their clients are excited to travel again, with some booking multiple trips. And they’re willing to spend more to get the vacation experience they want. But that high demand is driving up prices, and hotels are stretched thin due to staffing shortages, limiting availability. 

“Europe is in high demand this summer, with destinations like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy the most booked,” says Tiffany Bowne, with All Star Travel Group, a brand within Global Travel Collection.

“My luxury travel clients do a combination of experiences, like cooking classes, hiking/biking excursions and immersive activities connecting them to the place, as well as making sure they have dining reservations at the top spots,” says Bowne.

Carolyn Consalvo, with Global Travel Collection’s Andrew Harper, remarked that beach vacations and Alaska cruises are very popular. “I would say most people are looking for destinations where they can be outdoors a majority of the time,” she says.

“Bucket lists are becoming to-do lists,” says Shayna Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, also part of Global Travel Collection. “Many of my clients want to travel to their dream locations,” with destinations as varied as the Maldives, southern Italy’s Amalfi coast, Australia and Hawaii.

Remote work has also opened up new possibilities, she added. “The demographics of my most active luxury travelers today are young professionals, who now can work remotely from anywhere and are choosing to combine this with unique luxury trips.”

Luxury travelers are eager to make up for the time they couldn’t spend seeing the world with friends and family over the past two years.

“I’m doing multiple multigenerational trips — grandparents not wanting to miss any more time and taking their family on an unforgettable trip of two to three weeks,” says Diana Castillo, with Protravel International of Global Travel Collection.

Laura Triebe, also with Andrew Harper, is also handling more requests for multigenerational vacations and bucket-list destinations like Hawaii and Africa. “I think the client that calls now is more serious about traveling and is willing to adjust to an ever-changing world.”

With rising prices and limited availability in some vacation spots, luxury advisors are putting their skills and experience to the test.

Clients are “willing to pay to get what they want,” and that includes upgrading their accommodations, said Michelle Summerville, with In The Know Experiences. “More people want to travel in the best way possible, better than they have in the past,” she says.

“The greatest challenge in selling luxury travel right now is the severely limited space and availability for flights and hotel rooms in the most desirable destinations,” says Leslie Tillem, with Tzell Travel Group of Global Travel Collection. “We are seeing extraordinary demand in luxury travel across the spectrum, leading to a lack of availability at any price.”

Bridget Kapinus, with Andrew Harper, concurs. Demand is high for last-minute travel. She’s also contending with factors like a scarcity of hotel rooms and higher costs for flights.

Travelers who had never used an advisor before started to seek them out to help navigate COVID-19 entry and testing requirements. Now, they’re sold on the value of a travel professional.

“Your time is precious, and you want the assistance of an expert to help you plan your vacation,” says Angie Licea, President of the Global Travel Collection.

“Our luxury travel advisors have years of experience putting together trips for their clients, as well as firsthand knowledge of the world’s most popular destinations. They stay on top of the trends in luxury travel and deliver concierge-level service. Plus, travelers have the comfort of knowing that there’s a human being they can call whenever they have a question or concern.”

“My travels throughout these past 18 months have been our best marketing,” says Castillo of Protravel International. 

“We have shown our clientele that travel can be pleasant and enjoyable and that we can help set up all the requirements they may need in order to make their vacation seamless.”

Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, has also been sharing details about her travels, something her clients appreciate immensely. Her firsthand experience “is something that no Google search or website can provide.”

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