More of us are planning luxury travel vacations and cruises in 2017, according to a new, nationwide survey of travel experts.
The Travel Leaders Group polled 1,240 travel agencies who book luxury travel about the trends they’re seeing for this year. About 30% of the respondents indicated that luxury travel bookings for 2017 are higher than they were in 2016, with approximately 52 percent reporting that bookings are about even with last year.
When it comes to transportation and lodging there is also an increase in luxury.
About a quarter of the travel agents indicated that their 2017 luxury hotel bookings have increased somewhat or significantly, and the same percentage reported an increase in Premium First Class & Business Class airline reservations. In both cases, about half of the respondents said that bookings so far are about the same.
Cruises remain a popular choice. When asked to name the top three international destinations for their luxury clients in 2017, European river cruises came in number one, followed by Italy, Caribbean cruises, Mediterranean cruises and Mexico. Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, Jamaica and England round out the top 10.
28% of agents said that their luxury river cruise bookings have increased somewhat or significantly, with the same percentages for other luxury cruises and bookings for suites on cruise ships.
When it comes to luxury tour bookings, approximately 23%, said that they’re up somewhat or significantly up in 2017 compared with 2016.
Luxury Travel to Australia, Italy and Ireland
Australia, Italy and Ireland routinely top the list of international dream destinations for American consumers. So it’s not surprising that they’re popular among luxury travelers, with many travel agents reporting that clients have booked trips to those spots for 2017.
Rome, the Vatican City), Tuscany, Venice and the Amalfi Coast are among the most popular spots for travelers headed to Italy.
Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef and Melbourne are at the top of the sightseeing list for Australia.
Nearly all travelers to Ireland want to spend time in Dublin, but they also have the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry on their lists.
So luxury agents are seeing an interest in Crystal Luxury Air, a new venture from Crystal Cruises that will offer trips on a private jet on a customized Boeing 777 that’s been outfitted with
- luxurious in-flight bedding
- state-of-the-art entertainment systems
- a separate dining area
- bar and lounge
- an onboard chef and wine cellar
The inaugural 27-day round-the-world journey leaves from New York City Aug. 31 and includes stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok and Paris. Other trips, from 15 to 29 days, have been created around a variety of themes, from the South Pacific to iconic sites around the globe to a trip that will take travelers to some of the world’s best grape-growing regions and wineries.