American Marketer


88pc of affluent adults plan to travel for pleasure this year: report

July 3, 2013


Eighty-eight percent of adults with a household income of more than $250,000 plan to travel for pleasure this year, according to a new report from the Shullman Research Center.

The “Shullman Luxury Affluence Monthly Pulse: American Consumers and Their Travel Plans” report found that as household income increases, so does the likelihood of traveling for pleasure. Also, the wealthiest consumers are much more likely to travel abroad than the average American traveler.

“The highest income segment of consumers are going to four- and five-star hotels,” said Bob Shullman, founder/CEO of the Shullman Research Center, New York.

“They have money and they clearly understand the benefits that these hotels can offer,” he said.

“The more money they have, the more they spend.”

The Shullman Research Center conducted this survey online Feb. 26-March 6 among five samples of adult U.S. consumers – all household income levels plus four income samples of 250 surveys each as follows: $75,000-$149,999, $150,000-$249,999, $250,000-$499,999 and more than $500,000.

The American Consumers and Their Travel Plans report takes into consideration the March Preview Wave. Results were weighed with estimates from the March 2012 Current Population Survey as reported by the Census in 2012.

Get out of town
A majority of all U.S. consumers plan to travel, with 63 percent of all adults planning to travel in the next year.

Half of U.S. travelers plan to travel within the country, while 20 percent are planning an international trip. This trend increases with higher levels of income.

Seventy-one percent of adults with a household income of more than $250,000 plan to travel in the U.S. and 50 percent of this group plan to travel internationally.

Furthermore, Florida is the No. 1 planned destination for those adults planning to travel in the U.S. This is followed by California, Nevada, New York and Illinois, while higher-income travelers are likely to consider Hawaii and Colorado as well.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Affluent travelers are also more likely to plan longer trips and stay in four- and five-star hotels.

“I think that in many respects, ultra-affluent consumers tend to be a bit older, so they have traveled quite a bit in the U.S.,” Mr. Shullman said.

“They want to explore, they have seen a lot of the U.S., so if they want to learn and explore they have to go outside the U.S.,” he said.

Winding down
The report found that ultra-affluent consumers are more likely to travel for pleasure and relaxation.

For instance, 49 percent of adults with a household income of more than $500,000 plan to travel internationally for pleasure and 62 percent are planning domestic pleasure travel.

This is a vast difference from the 29 percent and 14 percent of total adults planning for domestic and international pleasure travel, respectively.

“If you are a high-power individual, unwinding can be difficult, so when they travel to hotels the first thing they want to do is relax,” Mr. Shullman said.

“At these hotels, everything is taken care of,” he said. “They can truly relax and if they don’t want to be disturbed, they don’t have to be disturbed.

“They have more money and are willing to spend more money on travel.”

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York