If the world were your oyster, where would you go, and what would you do?
Luxury travel group Virtuoso recently surveyed 1,400 of its Australian travel advisors to find out where their well-heeled clients will be travelling in the near future and into the holiday season as well as what they’ll be looking to do.
The results show that North America, particularly the United States, is the biggest draw card for luxury travellers and their deep pockets.
And Virtuoso Asia-Pacific managing director Michael Londregan said it wasn’t just the usual suspects luring Aussie luxury travellers to America.
“For a long time, the US travel destinations that were popular for Australians sat along West Coast gateways, but with increased capacity through a range of American airlines and their domestic networks, we are seeing people starting to treat the US in a holistic way,” Mr Londregan said from Las Vegas, where the results of the study were unveiled at the 30th annual Virtuoso Travel Week.
“With Qantas and Air New Zealand accessing new gateways like Dallas and Houston, the true tourism potential of the United States is becoming realised as the destination becomes more available.
“Australians now think nothing of skiing in Colorado, exploring New England or Louisiana, even Mexico, as people push through the gateway cities and create interesting multi-stop itineraries.”
A long-time former resident of the US, Londregan also flagged the significance of cruising holidays among Aussie travellers, an increasingly diverse industry that was taking a “solid share” of the market.
“What’s great is that cruise product now has as much differentiation as hotel product, giving people the ability to choose the kind of cruise that is right for them,” Londregan said.
“It recognises the right cruise is going to be different for couples, for families, people who want adventure, or wellness or who are active explorers and those who just want to stay onboard and enjoy the ship.”
Results of the survey:
Top International Destinations: US, Canada /Italy (tie), Japan, France, New Zealand
Top Domestic Destinations: Queensland, Tasmania, Byron Bay, Sydney, Uluru
Top Unusual/Surprising Destinations: Iceland, Bhutan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Antarctica
Top Trip Trends: Ocean cruises, Family trips, Beach destinations, Active and adventure trips, River cruises
Top Traveller Experiences: Soft adventure (hiking, bicycling), Experiences with local culture, Wellness, spa and relaxation/ Food and beverage (tie), Insider tours with locals, Living like a local