MMGY Global, a travel and hospitality marketing communications firm, conducted a survey of 1,250 affluent, leisure travelers in February of this year in an effort to gauge expectations for the upcoming year. Those who participated in the survey were adults living in the United States who had a household income of at least $125,000. Half of the respondents had a household income of $250,000 or more and all had traveled somewhere for an overnight stay at least 75 miles away during the past year. Below is a summary of some of the findings in their 2014 Portrait of Affluent Travelers report.
The affluent expect to take more trips in the year ahead. This yields a net nine percent (9%) increase for those in households with an annual income in excess of $250,000, and four percent (4%) more for individuals in households with an income between $125,000 to $249,999 annually.
Affluent travelers cited relaxation and enrichment as the most desirable attributes when they travel:
- 75% cite the desire to have enough time to relax and unwind
- 64% want to explore new cities and attractions
- 59% wish to experience different cultures
- 54% want to enhance their relationships
During the next two years, half of affluent travelers indicated that they are interested in visiting (in descending order of preference): the Hawaiian Neighbor Islands (63%), national parks throughout the country (61%), Honolulu (55%), New York City (52%), San Francisco (51%), Florida Keys (49%) and Napa Valley (47%).
Sixty percent of affluent travelers are interested in travel to Europe during the next two years. The countries that rise to the top of this list include Italy (41%), England (40%) and France (38%).
Fifty percent of affluent travelers are interested in visiting the Caribbean, specifically the U.S. Virgin Islands (27%); the Bahamas (25%); and the Cayman Islands, St. Maarten and Aruba (each at 23%).
More than 30% of affluent travelers are interested in visiting Oceana, especially Australia (32%), New Zealand (29%) and Fiji (18%). Twenty five percent (25%) would like to visit South America and Mexico.