Monday, July 15, 2024
News & Opinion

New Survey Reveals 2024 Travel Trends for Luxury Travelers

It’s no secret that LGBTQ+ folx have more disposable income to travel, in some cases, because we don’t have children. We tend to work hard and play hard, which means we splurge on high-end experiences and luxury travel. 

Well, consumers are getting bolder, looking for unique experiences and far-flung destinations as they plan their travel for 2024, according to findings revealed in a survey conducted by Global Travel Collection – a community of travel agents and agencies that include LGBTQ+ travel specialists.  The survey was based on responses from more than 100 luxury travel advisors who attended Global Travel Collection’s Elevate conference two weeks ago in New York City.  

Advisors who participated in the survey say that experiential travel is a growing trend among their clients, who want to do something new and different when they go on vacation. Demand/bookings for exploring and touring new destinations has increased by nearly 75 percent, while demand for family travel has risen by 63 percent, and interest in luxury cruises has grown by 60 percent.

(Photo Credit: Jared Rice on Unsplash)
(Photo Credit: Jared Rice on Unsplash)

Expedition cruising, including the Arctic and Galapagos, is becoming increasingly popular even for clients who don’t prefer cruising,” said Brooke Liberman, a luxury travel advisor with Global Travel Collection. 

Many of her clients also say they want to revisit their favorite cities for a deeper dive into the culture and even smaller surrounding areas. “Familiarity is comforting to my clients when revisiting a destination, but they want to explore up-and-coming neighborhoods, restaurants, and art scenes, too.”

Africa and Asia are popular vacation destinations, along with bucket-list experiences like climbing Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Travel advisors are seeing a big increase in the Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, and Korea, as well as some smaller, off-the-beaten-path places, like Malta.

“2024 is already showing renewed interest in Asia, particularly, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea. Australia and New Zealand will also see high interest coming into their summer, but availability will be a challenge unless clients start booking six months or more in advance,” said Lisa Taub, a luxury travel advisor with The Travel Collaborative, part of Global Travel Collection.

“Cartagena is hot, hot, hot,” said Global Travel Collection luxury travel advisor Shawn Goldberg. “Lately, I also find myself booking a lot of first-time African safaris, trips to Japan, and trips to places like Patagonia. My clients are taking that transformative bucket list trip now and are not waiting for a special time or event.”

(Photo Credit: Aerodim / Shutterstock)
(Photo Credit: Aerodim / Shutterstock)

Stefani Horowitz and Stephanie Kaufman, luxury travel advisors with Protravel International, are observing a shift in preferences among travelers. While Europe has always been popular, people are thinking outside of the box. Travelers aren’t limiting themselves to Italy, Greece, France and the UK. They are also exploring Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, and more alternative destinations. Moreover, many of their clients are embracing the concept of combining multiple destinations. For instance, trips that combine Italy with Spain or Croatia create a diverse travel experience. This is a trend they expect to pick up in 2024.

When it comes to cruises, consumers are looking for longer voyages that will take them to more exotic destinations. Advisors report a strong interest in adventure/expedition cruises and river cruises. Trips in general, too, are getting longer.

Vikram Seshadri, a luxury travel advisor with Protravel International in Beverly Hills, noted that his clients, especially those who have retired, travel longer. For example, he recently had clients who traveled around the Nordic countries for six weeks this past summer and are doing the same trip length in 2024 to Australia and New Zealand.

“Exotic trips are becoming more common,” added Seshadri. “I have noticed more requests for exotic trips this past year and into next year than ever before. Swimming with whale sharks in Rajah Ampat in Indonesia, doing an expedition trip to Antarctica to recreate the Ernest Shackelton experience, and week-long sailing trips around the Caribbean, South Pacific and Kimberly region of Australia are now everyday requests.”

Nearly half of the advisors surveyed report a jump in the demand for their services. About 30 percent say that they’ve seen an increase in the number of their Millennial clients, those ages 29 to 43. Consumers are looking for the expertise that a travel advisor provides, especially as they navigate complicated travel arrangements to bucket-list destinations. They also want the peace of mind that comes with using a travel advisor.

(Photo Credit: icemanphotos / Shutterstock)
(Photo Credit: icemanphotos / Shutterstock)

Whatever the destination, travelers are aiming for a more immersive vacation, with private, out-of-the-box services and VIP experiences. They want to feel a connection to the place they’re visiting. And they rely on the skill of a travel advisor to help create a unique, customized itinerary that fulfills their vacation dreams. Travelers are also booking longer trips and planning their vacations far in advance. Some advisors say they’re arranging trips for clients that won’t take place until 2025.

“Now is also the time to book in advance,” encourages luxury travel advisor Tiffany Bowne, founder of Lounge Couture. She shared that her summer 2024 travel bookings are happening earlier than ever with many trips completely planned, and in some cases, sold out, for next summer and early fall.

Get a jump start on your 2024 and 2025 travel plans and check out their roster of travel agents that specialize in luxury LGBTQ+ travel. Click here for more information about the Global Travel Collection (GTC).

Vacationer Staff

Vacationer Magazine's writing staff works hard to bring you all the latest LGBTQ travel articles to help inspire and inform.

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