When the rich travel, they travel well. Understanding their likes and choices has become a prerogative for hotels & destinations while they look at new means and experiences to cater to their whims and fancies. A recently conducted survey by Virtuoso, the leading network of luxury-focused travel advisors shows that upscale travelers select sailing aboard a World Cruise as the Top Trip of a Lifetime, Cruising as the most desired travel experience and Australia as favorite Dream Destination. Virtuoso reveals findings from its fifth annual “Travel Dreams” survey, a poll made through readers of Virtuoso Life, who are among the world’s most sophisticated travelers.
Findings revealed that sending time on the high seas emerged as a common theme. Australia, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand and Greece appear as the top five “Dream Destinations,” respectively, indicating a desire to venture farther from home. The Greek Isles also emerged as the “Top Island Escape,” especially with women, single travelers older than 50 years of age and travelers hailing from the southern US.
The Caribbean, a previous favorite in the “Dream Destinations” category, was replaced by newcomers like China and Ireland. The rising popularity of historical journeys and cultural experiences, both of which rank high as “Most Appealing Travel Experiences,” may account for the shift in destination preferences. Virtuoso also identified five individual traveler profiles. ‘Adventurers’ like communing with nature in destinations such as Kenya. ‘Beachgoers’ share a love of water, whether in Australia, French Polynesia or Italy, but avoid expedition cruises and group tours. ‘Cruisers’ favor long vacations with the Mediterranean popular among those under 35 years; Alaska for travelers 35-49 years; and world voyages for those over 50 years. ‘Culture Seekers’ aim to visit all seven continents and soak in their surroundings and ‘Families’ are drawn to beach resorts, national parks and European villas over theme parks.
Experiences like sailing the Mediterranean on a private yacht, calling on all seven continents, renting a European villa and visiting all seven New Wonders of the World, photographing the “Big five” on African Safari, renting a private island, blasting off on a Virgin Galactic flight, chartering a private jet and dining through Paris’ best restaurants make up for the top ten Top Trips of a Lifetime. The alluring island escapes include the Greek Isles, Hawaiian Islands, Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Bali, Fiji, the Caribbean, Bay of Islands (New Zealand), Seychelles and Capri while the most romantic cities are Paris, Venice, Santorini (Greece), Rome and Florence. The most desired enriching experiences are cooking schools, archaeological explorations, historical pilgrimages, photography instruction and foreign language and the most craved dining destinations are Paris, Rome, Florence, New Orleans and New York City.
If there’s one thing we are sure about; it’s that today’s rich traveler is all about new flavours, new experiences and lush destinations. Tell us what appeals to you the most.