Skift Take

Given their huge spending power, it’s no wonder affluent Americans are an attractive and strategic segment for travel brands to target. Our U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey 2018 reveals key insights into their travel behaviors, attitudes, and preferences, while further segmentation paints a more nuanced picture of this diverse and lucrative group.

The latest Skift Research Report, U.S. Affluent Traveler Trends 2018: Annual Survey on Travel Behavior, is here.

Of all segments of U.S. travelers, affluent travelers comprise one of the most desirable and but least understood. Until now.

Skift Research’s analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey found that while Americans with an income of over $100,000 make up just 20 percent of the total U.S. population, they account for 51 percent of total travel-related spending. Given this group’s huge spending power in relation to its size, it’s no surprise that travel brands are highly interested in catering to affluent travelers.

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In this new report, we examine the results of this year’s U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey to identify trends with the segment’s travel habits, preferences, and attitudes. By analyzing the survey data, some key findings emerge that help us to develop a clearer picture of the group as a whole. For example, affluent travelers tend to be avid travelers who prioritize experiences and are self-sufficient planners and bookers. We find that they are apt to spend more money on traveling than on other things, but prefer to allocate more funds toward unique activities rather than a nicer hotel. At the same time, they are hesitant to call themselves “luxury travelers,” likely because they don’t tend to fit the traditional definition of the term.

We create a more refined picture of affluent travelers and how they fit into the new definition of luxury travel by segmenting the respondents. Through these lenses, we are able to pinpoint key variations within the affluent traveler group that are likely to impact travel behavior.

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Throughout the report, we present the results of the survey in an easy-to-read, visual fashion.

What You’ll Learn From This Report

    • Trip incidence for affluent travelers
    • Attitudinal and behavioral data that indicate how affluent travelers prioritize experiences while traveling
    • Affluent travelers’ primary resources and preferences in travel planning and destination selection
    • Common booking channels for air travel and accommodations
    • Use and satisfaction data showing how affluent travelers are increasingly embracing alternative accommodation options
    • Affluent travelers’ behavior and attitudes around the concept of luxury
    • How the “super affluent” (those with a combined household income over $200,000) differ from the less affluent travelers
    • Key differences between affluent travelers with and without children in the household
    • Key differences by age
    • Key differences according to travel frequency

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This is the latest in a series of monthly reports, data sheets, and analyst calls aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision-maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. More than 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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Tags: affluent traveler, airbnb, alternative accommodations, consumer, data, destinations, expenditure, experiential travel, family travel, hotels, loyalty, luxury, survey, transformative travel

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