Aussies love their luxury

AUSTRALIANS make 25% more luxury trips than the average international traveller, are the second highest global consumers of business class flights, spend the most time on holiday of any nation, and represent the world’s biggest consumers of luxury travel leisure nights. These are some of the key findings of a major study commissioned by luxury travel network Virtuoso, with analyst firm YouGov looking at global luxury consumer sentiment.

Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch, who was in Australia last month to meet with key industry partners, told travelBulletin the trends revealed were confirmed by Virtuoso booking data, with Australians representing some of the most prolific travellers in the group’s network. “They are also some of the most intrepid travellers, always looking to new and interesting destinations that their American contemporaries might not have considered yet,” Upchurch said.

The YouGov research also intriguingly revealed that the average income of an Australian luxury traveller was $318,000, with clients spending around $13,000 per trip. A higher proportion of Australians preferred to use a travel advisor — 64%, versus a global average of 52% — and Australian travellers were also significantly more likely to use loyalty points. But Upchurch noted that the universal trait of holidaymakers across the globe was the desire for personalised service. “Australians are no different than other luxury travellers… they will switch their loyalties, even if it means paying more, to have service that exceeds their expectations. This is certainly true during their travels, but it happens during the planning process as well,” he said.

Upchurch also noted that particularly when things don’t go as planned, customers can “turn to their travel advisor for advocacy and accountability”. Virtuoso’s strong focus on Australia will see the organisation’s 2019 global symposium take place in Melbourne in May next year, gathering about 500 of its top advisors from across the globe to the Victorian capital.