Luxury travelers show advisors the love in new survey

Jamie Biesiada

Luxury travelers really value their travel advisors, according to a recent survey from payments enablement and software company Flywire.

The company’s second Annual Luxury Travel Report found that 81% of respondents said “working with travel experts is the only way to have a true luxury travel experience,” Flywire said in a release. And that number is up from 74% last year.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic and the U.S. travel market’s subsequent path to recovery, more and more consumers have been turning to advisors. The increase in business, while it has come with pain points for advisors, has enabled many to pick the clients they want to do business with. In many cases and for obvious reasons, they are increasingly picking travelers that skew more toward luxury products. Flywire’s survey offers some insight as to who those travelers are and why luxury is a lucrative field for advisors, especially right now.

From a generational perspective, Flywire’s survey found that younger travelers were more likely to use travel advisors than older travelers. The survey found that 63% of its Generation Z and millennial respondents were likely to work with an advisor, compared with 54% of Generation X and 45% of baby boomers.

In total, though, 67% of respondents said they “could not imagine traveling without an agent/advisor.”

A few more points:
• 92% of respondents are likely to use, or have used, an advisor for trips in the past 18 months, up 5% year over year
• 90% said their agent is a one-stop point of contact for trips, up 2% year over year
• 87% said agents are the best way to create personalized travel experiences, up 2% year over year
• 78% use their advisor to manage their itinerary in real time

The year ahead looks like a prime one for luxury travel, according to the survey’s respondents: 83% of them plan to spend more on travel this year than they did the last. Further, 84% of respondents said their next few vacations will be longer than other trips over the 18 months preceding the survey.

Flywire conducted its survey online from Dec. 9-19. It received 612 responses from adults 18 and older. Respondents’ household income was at least $100,000 a year, and they had to have traveled for leisure at least twice in the preceding year. Their spend level had to be at least $5,000 per person.

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