Demand for travel boosted by experience economy
Epic adventures, worldwide tours and cruises around the world have all seen demand increase over the past year as the so-called experience economy continues to thrive, according to a new report.
The study shows that people are investing in travel as never before alongside life’s big milestones, from marriage proposals to retirement and big zero birthdays to destination weddings.
UK-based travel company Kuoni, which published the report, confirmed around half of its bookings are now for special occasion trips, with honeymoons topping the list, followed by landmark birthdays, weddings and vow renewals, bucket list trips and family gatherings.
Engagement travel also makes the list for the first time. Princess Eugenie getting engaged in Nicaragua highlights a trend for couples seeking to make their marriage proposal as memorable as the big day itself.
Exotic Indian Ocean destination the Maldives tops the list of destinations for special trips, including honeymoons, where average spend is now £6,000 per couple.
Worldwide tours to Japan, Vietnam and Costa Rica are also on the rise, with growing numbers of people opting for epic adventures of 20 nights or more. Demand for premium worldwide cruise trips, has also risen by 45 per cent.
Equity release from homes and a relaxation in pension regulations in recent years is one of the reasons for the growth of premium travel as people seek to tick places off their wish list. Older, wealthier consumers, who are fit and healthy, are investing in seeing the world as they continue to live life to the full.
Derek Jones, managing director of Kuoni, said: “From dinner on a private island in the Maldives to dining by a candlelit waterfall in Thailand, growing numbers are willing to invest in experiences at all ends of the age spectrum which creates conversation to last a lifetime.”
“The memories made, the relationships nurtured and occasions celebrated are becoming central to shaping the people we are.”
Top 10 special occasions:
- Birthday (Landmark 30/40/50/60/70)
- Wedding / Vow renewal
- Empty Nesters’ bucket list trip
- Family gatherings
- Engagement trips to propose
- Last holiday before baby
- Rekindled romance/second honeymoon
- Newly single (either divorced, separated or widowed)
Top 25 destinations for 2018:
- Sri Lanka
- Indonesia (Bali)
- South Africa
- St Lucia