Economically speaking, the international travel industry cannot afford to do without luxury travellers. Despite a serious drop in the volume of luxury trips costing 2,500 euros and more, so-called luxury travellers and the money they spend continue to occupy a significant share of the travel market. These are the findings of the ITB World Travel Trends Report 2010, compiled by IPK International and commissioned by the world’s leading travel trade show ITB Berlin.
In 2009 travellers from Europe capable of spending relatively large sums per trip, more than 2,500 euros, made up only 5 per cent of the travel market. However, the money they spent represented 27 per cent, despite wealthy holidaymakers being worst affected by the economic downturn. Luxury travel declined by 18 per cent, more than any other segment of the market.
The number of trips in the medium-priced travel category (750 to 2,500 euros per trip) fell by nine per cent, representing 33 per cent of trips overall, with spending in this segment accounting for 47 per cent of the market. The number of trips undertaken by holidaymakers who spent a maximum of 750 euros fell by four per cent, still 62 per cent of the overall travel market. However, they accounted for only 26 per cent of overall spending.
Dr. Martin Buck, Director of the Travel & Logistics Competence Center at Messe Berlin: “The findings are clear on one thing: despite its decline, the luxury travel market is due to become even more hotly contested. The winners will be destinations, airlines and travel operators who are conscious of the exclusive needs of a well-heeled clientele and are capable of tailoring their products accordingly.“
The financial gap becomes even wider when one considers travellers in the “extremely wealthy” bracket. According to the report they are capable of spending up to 500 times the average holidaymaker’s amount on overnight hotel accommodation. “Highly personalised and individual products are required to continue to attract this audience. The travel industry will come under huge pressure to satisfy this market segment“, added Dr. Martin Buck.
The ITB World Travel Trends Report is based mainly on the globally representative findings of the IPK International World Travel Monitor®. Over the last 20 years more than 500,000 interviews examining travel behaviour and travel volume have been conducted annually in 60 major travel markets around the world.