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Why Australians are the luxury traveller everyone wants

Author: Vicky Karantzavelou / Date: Mon, 10/15/2018 - 11:05

With Australian’s making 25 percent more luxury trips than the average international traveller and representing the highest consumers of luxury travel leisure nights, the world’s tourism industry has honed in on the Australian luxury dollar.

Sydney - Long regarded as tremendous travellers, now Australians are being recognised the world over as great luxury travellers. Fuelled by strong share portfolios, super and property, Australian luxury travellers are consuming at record rates, with demand pushing a raft of luxury travel brands to open sales offices across the country.

Australian luxury travellers take more international trips, are the second highest consumers of business class flights, and spend the most time on holiday according to research undertaken by leading global luxury travel network, Virtuoso.

With Australian’s making 25 percent more luxury trips than the average international traveller and representing the highest consumers of luxury travel leisure nights, the world’s tourism industry has honed in on the Australian luxury dollar.

  • The YouGov research analysed global luxury consumer sentiment, identifying global luxury consumer trends, along with specific travel trends for the Australian luxury traveller including:
  • Australians take a higher number of international trips (1.9 vs. 1.5) compared to the global average
  • They take more overall trips (4.9 vs. 4.7)
  • Despite being conscious of the exchange rate (31 percent vs. 21 percent), Australians have the lowest level of budget setting (14 percent vs. 35 percent)
  • Australian travellers are more likely to use loyalty points (36 percent vs. 32 percent)
  • Australians have the highest number of leisure nights (18.9 vs. 14.4), especially for hotels/resorts (13.2 vs. 9.8)
  • 63 percent of cruising length is two weeks or longer for Australians, compared to the global average of 40 percent
  • Australian luxury travellers like to use a travel advisor (64 percent vs. 52 percent)
  • Average income of an Australian luxury traveller is around $318,000, and they spend approximately $13,000 per trip, with relaxation being their top reason for travel
  • Australians rate the importance of travel as 8.2 out of 10
  • Globally, 71 percent of luxury consumers believe many non-luxury brands now offer a level of quality comparable to luxury brands
  • 88 percent of consumers like brands that share their values, while 80 percent will spend more on a brand that customises the product for them

Australians represent some of the most prolific travellers in the Virtuoso network,” stated Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “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 continued, “One universal trait with travellers across the globe is the desire for personalised service. And 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. Consumers will collaborate with their travel advisor – just as they would with their financial advisor – to ensure they get the experience they want. Where the trust comes in is when things don’t go as planned, and they can turn to their travel advisor for advocacy and accountability.”

The definition of luxury travel is shifting as non-luxury brands begin to offer a level of quality comparable with luxury brands, leaving luxury travellers to seek out other criteria to evaluate their travel products, including customisation and shared values.

Internationally there has been remarkable expansion in luxury travel with Virtuoso’s network recording 12 percent growth in the past year, now totalling sales of over US $23b, up from $12.5b in 2013.

In Australia, Virtuoso has become the fastest growing retail consortia in the country, with current sales up 19 percent on the previous 12 months. Recognising this growth, Virtuoso will host its global Symposium in Melbourne next May, gathering together 500 luxury travel leaders from across the world.


Vicky Karantzavelou

Co-Founder & Chief Editor

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.