In Segmentation, Tourism

woman arriving at private jetIn a recent industry forecast, Allied Market Research reported that the luxury travel market is expected to reach $1.154 trillion in worldwide revenues by 2022. If you’re responsible for marketing a Forbes 5-Star resort, high-end tourism destination or other premium travel or hospitality brand, it’s critical to identify the target market segments that are fueling this explosive growth as well as understand what motivates them to increase your share of this soon-to-be trillion-dollar-plus pie.


In tackling luxury travel market segmentation, global research and technology provider Amadeus identified six traveler “tribes” of the future defined not only by their level of wealth, but also their behaviors and travel intentions. Let’s meet them:

Bluxury | This tribe takes bleisure (business + leisure) travel to enviable new heights. Let’s say a corporate bigwig is sent to Paris for a three-day business trip. That exec has the bankroll to vacation in the city beyond the timeframe committed to the company. Maybe the family is flown in for a luxurious getaway, staying in the nicest hotels and touring all the famed sights. Or maybe the well-heeled executive has a taste for haute couture and spends a few extra days strolling the oh-so-chic designer boutiques and fashion houses of the city. Either way, the Bluxury tribe leverages the necessity of business trips to enjoy some well-deserved luxurious personal travel.

Cash-rich, Time-poor | These people are in demand. They have responsibilities and commitments that often leave them on the wrong side of a work-life balance. So, when they do force themselves to carve out some precious me or family time, they want to make the most of it with highly personalized, very private experiences. They will likely use a travel professional to plan the trip (remember, they don’t have time for that) and they’re willing to pay for this expertise—and flexibility, in case they have to reschedule at the last minute.

Special Occasion | These tribe members are not exactly your top one-percenters. These are financially comfortable folks who will save up or use rewards points to pay for upgrades and travel with a “wow factor.” They don’t expect to go first-class all the way. In fact, they’re willing to give up some level of luxury and comfort to gain a transformational experience elsewhere on the vacation. Here are your Special Occasion poster children: A millennial couple who foregoes a five-star hotel to enjoy a private guided tour of Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula in celebration of a milestone birthday or anniversary.

Strictly Opulent | These are the people that love creating FOMO in everyone else. Their Instagram feeds are bursting with photo after photo of them living the good life, especially when it comes to travel. Obviously, everything has to be jaw droppingly posh and camera-ready. They would think nothing of dropping $15,000/night on a luxury villa overlooking Italy’s Lake Como to impress their friends and followers.

Always Luxury | If you think the Strictly Opulents have it made, you should see the lifestyles of the Always Luxury tribe. Extravagance is not a once in awhile splurge. It’s an everyday essential, whether they’re at home or traveling abroad. They don’t think (or care) about what things cost. You can expect them to arrive by private jet, stay in lavish penthouse accommodations and dine in the most highly sought-after restaurants. Of course, all of these details will be handled by trusted professionals—and every moment of the itinerary had better live up to these Always Luxurys’ sky-high standards.

Independent & Affluent | This could also be called the no-kids-allowed tribe. Because these Independent & Affluent travelers have no familial ties, school schedules or soccer practices to tether them to home, there is a great deal of flexibility at play. They may travel solo or with a tight-knit circle of friends. They value experiences, want to treat themselves and often seek out like-minded travelers along their journey. Think: spiritual sojourns to Bali or once-in-a-lifetime hikes through the Himalayas.

Dana knows the ins-and-outs of luxury travel market segmentation and exactly what makes these traveler tribes tick—reaching them with the right message at the right time to impact bookings for our clients. Want to secure your share? Contact Lynn Kaniper at or 609.466.9187 ext. 117 to get started.

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