Skift Take

Travel advisors serving the top end of the market these days are seeing an influx of clients with newly made fortunes eager to spend some of it on dream vacations. Satisfying their demands takes ingenuity and is redefining the nature of luxury travel.

Whether you are a home-based travel advisor or you work in a large office servicing high-profile accounts, the Travel Advisor Innovation Report will have you covered with the trends, news, and features you’ll need to stay on top of an ever-changing marketplace.

This week Skift looks at two huge leisure travel trends that sometimes intersect: the growing ranks of super-rich travelers willing to spend for extraordinary experiences and rising interest in combining volunteer work with a vacation. Both require a great deal of ingenuity and due diligence on the part of travel advisors.

As more fortunes are being made in tech and other industries, some travel advisors serving the top end of the market are seeing an influx of clients eager to spend their newly made wealth on dream vacations. In contrast to the more jaded old-money crowd, travel is a new adventure for them, and acquiring bragging rights to share on social media is a priority. There’s also a more serious side, with some ultra-rich clients seeking family vacations where volunteer opportunities for themselves and their kids are part of the itinerary.

Volunteer work continues to spark interest among travelers across the board, with some travel and tour companies reporting double-digit growth in demand over the past year. While voluntourism can be beneficial for clients and communities alike, it takes a lot of planning and forethought among advisors to make it worthwhile.

For more coverage of pertinent issues, click here.

Any suggestions for the coverage you would like to see are welcome. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

Featured Stories

Rise of Voluntourism Presents New Challenges for Advisors: Who would have thought that people would pay to do back-breaking work and enjoy the experience? Voluntourism is gaining momentum and putting pressure on advisors to match traveler skills and expectations with community and conservation needs.

The Super Rich Are Creating New Opportunities for Travel Advisors: Ultra-wealthy travelers are growing in number, and many are willing to pay for expertise in fulfilling their champagne wishes and caviar dreams. However, serving these clients, especially the newly rich, can put advisors to the test.


Europe Faces Another Summer of Airline Delays and Cancellations: The European Union has been trying to come to grips with the continent’s fragmented airspace for more than a decade, and it doesn’t sound like a solution is any closer.

Record 93 Million U.S. Citizens Traveled Outside the Country in 2018: Americans are increasingly eager to explore the world — and able to afford the journey — which is good news for the global travel industry.

Barack Obama on Walls, Borders and Tourism: He’s only been out of office for a few years, but it’s still refreshing to hear a politician articulate the importance of travel and the benefits of tourism.

Visit Florida’s Future Is Up in the Air (Again): Destination marketing money is again a political football in Florida, a state that 126 million people visited last year. As governments around the country examine their stance on publicly funded self-promotion, will the Sunshine State stay the course?

Why George Clooney’s Sultan of Brunei Hotels Boycott is Misguided: George Clooney’s effort to boycott the Dorchester Collection is the wrong approach. In effect, it actually serves to harm the frontline staff and workers in the hotels that create the magic for guests and Hollywood luminaries alike.


United Is Switching Frequent Flyer Program to Demand Pricing: United will move to a dynamic-pricing model and remove its award chart on November 15. For flexible and thrifty travelers, this may help some score a bargain-basement award seat. Others used to predictable award tiers may find the news distressing.

Overhead Bins Stir Lots of Flight Anxiety: Digital Tech is Here to Help: Even many seasoned travelers have overhead-bin anxiety. Can Boeing and Airbus find a way to make it easier to match travelers with bin space?

Meet American Airlines’ Turbulence Guru: Steve Abelman, the only meteorologist employed by American Airlines, is passionate about his craft.


China’s Alibaba Is Shaping the Future of the Machine-Driven Hotel: Chinese e-commerce players are racing among themselves to provide technology solutions to hotels. Alibaba fires the latest salvo with a prototype of the future hotel, FlyZoo.

Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [[email protected]] curates the Skift Travel Advisor Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday. Have a story idea? Or a juicy news tip? Want to share a memo? Send her an email.


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Tags: airlines, consumer behavior, luxury, tourism, travel advisor innovation report, travel agents, voluntourism

Photo credit: Mountains rise behind the downtown skyline of Los Angeles. The nouveau super rich are often looking for bragging rights. 334377 / 334377

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