(Bloomberg) -- Global luxury travel is leaning more toward conscious tourism, wellness and meaningful human connections, according to a report released on Dec. 6 at the International Luxury Travel Market trade show in Cannes, France.
In partnership with American Express and Altiant, a luxury market research firm, the report also found that a majority of wealthy travelers continue to prefer spending on experiences over goods. Almost 60% plan to spend more on travel in 2023, compared with a mere 10% who say they’ll cut back.
The findings are based on Altiant’s survey of 1,200 high-net-worth individuals and affluent travelers in 14 countries in parts of Asia, Europe and the Americas during the second half of 2022. As such, it predicts which pandemic behaviors are sticking and which are vanishing alongside global entry restrictions.
Health and safety rank as the No. 1 factor in choosing a destination, a concern that’s here to stay post-pandemic—under safety, this includes both security concerns and fear of discrimination at a destination. Wellness remains a key driver in vacation planning for 61% of respondents.
Additional eye-opening results from the survey:
Fifty percent of respondents say they’ll continue to make up for lost time and live out their extravagant travel dreams and bucket lists. However, 49% indicate a mind toward flying less and staying longer.
Forty-five percent plan to take more eco-friendly trips next year, and that number jumps to 81% for Chinese travelers. A little more than half are willing to pay up to 20% extra for sustainable holidays.
The preference for relaxing vacations continues—beaches and city breaks.
Wealthy travelers from the Americas are expected to be the most bullish on spending.
Two-thirds of respondents plan to use a travel adviser. Flexibility and insurance are cited as the primary reasons.
The message of a more sustainable and climate-conscious tourism industry coming out of the pandemic is resonating with luxury travelers, the results show. Just over 25% indicate that the environment and sustainability are important to them (the percentages are higher for those under 35).
More than 70% of respondents overall further state that seeing carbon emissions data on their flights or holiday picks is very or somewhat influential in their booking decisions.
But here’s the conundrum: When they were asked what the deciding factors are in booking their next vacation, sustainability of a hotel ranks only seventh out of 14 options, evidence that the consumer intention-action gap persists when it comes to sustainable travel.
What’s for sure: Domestic and regional trips will stick around in 2023, but the desire for more international travel will dominate, according to half of respondents who are now prioritizing an overseas vacation over a backyard trip. Up to 52% plan to visit Europe, 41% will visit the Americas, and 25% plan to travel to the Middle East or Africa.
As for wealthy Americans, they’re eyeing primarily Japan, Australia and, as proof that some things never change, Italy.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.