This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

September 5, 2018

Affluent Travelers Seek Experiences

Recently, we found a landmark study on Affluent Travelers from Ipsos, a global market research company specializing in wealthy consumers. Not surprisingly, Ipsos believes that "Affluencer" dollars are driving the present developments.

Travel is becoming experiential
Ipsos Affluent Intelligence identified six key types of affluent travelers and the attitudes, desires, and expectations of each---looking at the types of experiences travelers seek. Those six types are Wellness Seekers, Active Challengers, Sightseers, Cruisers, Historians, and Gourmands. Each category is characterized by a unique set of values and attitudes.

Historians---the group with the highest net worth
With a median net worth of $1,047,000USD, Historians are also the group with the second highest median household income ($191,000USD). They are the most open of all the categories to "charting new territory". Highly educated, they are very interested in exploring new cultures. They are the segment that Viking Cruises courts with their commercials that highlight the cultural opportunities included in their cruises. Historians also skew the oldest at a median age of 48.4 years.

Wellness Seekers---the group with the highest median income
With a median income of over $200,000USD/year, Wellness Seekers are looking for wellness-focused experiences that also include great food, adventure, culture, and more. While currently, this segment is mostly women, there is a trend towards more men planning this type of vacation (over 50 percent). While this group tends to be female, the next Wellness Seekers will include more men - over 50 percent of those currently planning a vacation of this type are male.

Active Challengers---the most energetic segment
Appearances matter to this group of risk takers who like to stand out from the crowd. With their environmental consciousness, you're likely to find them staying at a green hotel. And, of course, they are interested in participating sports.

Sightseers---the largest affluent travel segment
Sightseers are less interested in relaxing and more likely to see, collect new experiences, and learn while traveling. Many Gen-Xer families with children are in this category. They are more likely to explore and 41 percent of them are currently planning a trip of this type. They, too, are environmentally conscious and when they are not traveling, they enjoy entertaining and their homes.

Six Key Travel Attitudes
Ipsos has also identified the following attitudes as being important to Affuencers: Pioneering (want to be the first to try), Transforming (looking for their vacation to change their perspective), Learning (care about learning new information and trying new things), Pampering (willing to pay more to be taken care of), Indulging (focused on food and drink experiences), and Challenging (seek to be physically challenged especially outdoors).

Defined by 13 Travel Desires
Ipsos also identified 13 "Travel Desires": Relaxation, Adventure, Culture, Romance, New Experiences, Meeting New People, Learning about Other Cultures, Learning about Myself, Eating Great Food, Physical Activity, Learning New Things, Personal Growth, and Connecting with Family.

Affluent Millennials are driving many trends
It was fascinating to see our previous observations of experiential travel catalogued by Ipsos in this way. Just one of the trends Millennials are driving is their desire to learn and experience new things. With 90 percent of Millennials agreeing that these are the purpose of a vacation, we expect to see a major shift towards learning being incorporated into many aspects of travel. We are already seeing a glimmer of this trend in the new alliance between Marriott Hotels and TED (Technology Education Design), known for its “ideas worth spreading”. (This concept is just one of the forecasts our author Joyce Gioia will talk about at the Future of Tourism Conference in France this week.)

To read the entire Ipsos study, visit HERE..

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