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Travelers with high purchasing power represent almost half of spending on travel experiences

A new study by Arival highlights the importance of reaching the high-net-worth traveler

Arival, the research authority for the tours, activities and travel experiences industry, urges experience operators to prepare for the rise of the affluent traveler in 2024. The advice comes after the publication of the Traveler Insights report from Arival’s U.S. Experiences 2024, which revealed that those with household incomes of $150,000 or more account for nearly half of all spending on experiences.

In contrast, this growing segment, which spans all age groups, represents only 22% of all travelers. These American travelers travel more, want more from their experiences, and are willing to pay more for them: 47% also say they book private tours when they travel, rather than joining public groups.

“The affluent traveler may represent a smaller segment of the overall traveler population, but their influence on this tourism sector is profound – and growing,” said Douglas Quinby, co-founder and CEO of Arival. “Wealthy travelers are prioritizing trips and activities higher, booking more of them, spending more and seeking more exceptional experiences, including small group and private travel. “Operators must look closely at this expanding demographic and develop products and marketing to reach this coveted consumer segment.”

The 1,000 travelers surveyed in the Arival study also reported having had an average of seven experiences on each trip in 2023, which is a significant increase compared to 2019, and was higher among the well-off group. Participation in guided tours, activities and tourist attractions has increased significantly since 2019, with the largest increase being in guided tours. Sightseeing tours, culinary experiences (food, wine, and beer tours), and experiences hosted by locals were the most popular.

With travel to Europe from the US on the rise, the affluent American traveler is expected to be a key theme at the upcoming Arival Activate 2024 event in Berlin. More than 700 delegates are expected to gather in March to discuss the most pressing topics, issues and trends driving the global experiences industry.

Source: Arival/Belvera Partners.


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