Last updated: 12:24 PM ET, Mon November 04 2013

Travel Leaders Group Survey Finds “Luxury” is the New Black

Travel Agent Travel Leaders Group Thea Klapwald September 26, 2013

The luxury travel trend is as positive as almost always for agents, with the market moving ahead steadily. Travel Leaders Group is the latest to confirm that luxury travel is up for agents.

Travel Leaders Group recently released a survey based on 536 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline agents who book luxury travel. The trend: bookings are “up or on par” compared to last year. Over 80 percent of survey respondents said that tours, hotel and cruise bookings in the luxury category were all up or met 2012 levels. Cruise suites room class are also seeing an equal or higher booking level compared to last year.

Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben said that agents across the board are seeing clients who want to experience luxury travel and that it’s not just the 1 percent demanding the experiences.

Indeed, luxury travel was on everyone’s mind at the start of the Nexion host agency conference. Travel Leaders Group initiatives to advise agents on luxury travel have been in place to the tune of $18 billion. With findings like the ones from the recent survey likely increased training and support will be put in place.

“Two years ago, Travel Leaders Franchise Group launched its Luxury Center of Excellence,” explained Steve Loucks, Travel Leaders Group spokesperson. “That has already yielded its first delegation of luxury-focused Travel Leaders agents.” Those agents, along with Tzell and Protravel agents, were invited to the International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes last year.

“The Luxury Center of Excellence also led to the creation of our In-Country Partners global DMC network in over 80 countries on six continents,” added Loucks. “So as you can see, our presence in and increased focus on luxury travel is quite formidable.”