The World/European Luxury Travel Report from IPK International found that in planning stages, the internet was used by some 83% of international luxury travellers, but 51% of them also used travel agencies as an information source (versus the general rate of 33%).
When it comes to booking, on average 27% of all international outbound trips are reserved via a travel agency, but that rises to 40% when luxury trips are finally booked.
International luxury trips were defined as “all outbound short-haul trips of up to three nights with a spending of more than €750 per night”, as well as all “outbound long-haul trips of four nights and more, and a spending of more than €500 euros per night”. By this measure, the world population took 54 million “international luxury trips” in 2016 – about 7% of total global international travel.
The study also showed a boom in “spending heavily” on travel, with a rise of about 18% in luxury travel since 2014, growing at around twice the rate as international travel in general, which rose by about 9% over the same period.
The largest source markets for luxury travel globally are the US, making 13.7 million foreign luxury trips, and China, taking 10 million holidays.
In Europe, it was British travellers who took the most luxury trips, notching up 3.6 million under the criteria, ahead of French and German travellers. Other major source markets for luxury travel were Japan and Taiwan.
The most popular destination by far was the US, receiving 8.1 million luxury trips; in Europe, Germany received the highest number with four million in 2016, usurping Italy as the number one luxury travel destination in Europe, with France, Italy and the UK next on the list.