Affluent Traveler Connection Reveals 2019 Luxury Travel Trends

The ultimate commodity in travel is personalization, says the Affluent Traveler Collection, and knowledgeable jet-setters are willing to pay to gain access.

“As we see the shift from agent to advisor–particularly in the luxury market–we’re delighted to see that the expertise of the ATC advisors continues to be recognized ­and rewarded,” said Nicole Mazza, chief marketing officer of ATC. “More than 50 percent of respondents have seen an uptick in their clients’ budgets for next year and nearly sixty percent charge a fee for their knowledge, time and service in creating meaningful, curated itineraries.”

The exclusive marketing group has identified several other trends that are also dominating the luxury travel market.

Cruising Sails Into Number One

Luxury travel advisors identified causing as the number-one pick among travelers in the coming year.

“Cruising is a perennial favorite and 2019 will be an exciting year in the industry with new ships and a rise in exotic ports of call–from Egypt to South America,” says Mazza.

Notably, 41 percent of travel advisors selected river cruising and nearly 15 percent chose ocean cruising as vacations that they believe will be the most requested in 2019.

Green in 2019

Nearly 50 percent of advisors noted a shift in their clients seeking sustainable travel brands.

“From the brands under The Travel Corporation and resorts like Barcelo Maya Palace to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, travel companies are becoming more attuned to their place as leaders within the sustainability movement,” said Mazza. “It’s no longer an afterthought, but instead a priority as travelers look to not only explore the world but also preserve it for future generations.”

A Cultural Connection

While consumers may do research on destinations they want to travel to before contacting an advisor, they continue to seek advice on how to make a deeper cultural connection while in a destination.

Mazza notes it’s the “small moments with a memorable impact” that are often most important on a trip. Sixty percent of advisors seeing items such as a meal with a local family, early access to a museum or the discovery of a new neighborhood as the most requested part of an itinerary.

Guided Vacations

More than 50 percent of travel advisors have seen an increase in guided vacation experiences for the New Year.

“Part of the joy of a guide is that it allows clients the freedom to be in the moment, without thinking ‘what’s next,’” said Mazza. “As we continue to see a demand for exotic locations and off-the-beaten-path adventures, we’ll continue seeing this as a trend on the rise.”

ATC Advisors “Featured Five”

Advisors weighed in on the destinations they see as the most popular and here are the top five:

—Iceland

—South Africa

—Japan

—Croatia

—Italy

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