Luxury Travellers Target Peaceful Nations Over Traditional Luxury Destinations

Luxury Travellers Target Peaceful Nations Over Traditional Luxury Destinations

We all know that global issues directly affect travel decisions. To further solidify this belief, the latest report from Travel Leaders Group show that affluent travellers has turned to the world’s most peaceful nations for their holiday destinations.

Travel Leaders Group, North America’s largest leisure and corporate travel agency, conducted a survey among their luxury travel agents to discover which countries held the most appeal and interest to their clientele.

The results showed a symmetry between the 2016 Global Peace Index Report (released June 2016) and Travel Leaders Group’s Report. The top 3 emerging destinations are also within the top 10 most peaceful countries ranked in the 2016 Global Peace Index Report. (source GPI 2016 Report)

New Zealand showed to be the country with the highest level of interest among affluent travellers ( 32.3 % Highly Interested /  57.4% Interested ), followed by Iceland ( 27.7 % Highly Interested  / 55.6 % Interested) and Portugal (61.9% Interested / 14.1 % Highly Interested).

Within the Global Peace Index Report, these three countries ranked seventh (New Zealand) , fifth (Iceland), and eighth (Portugal) as the most peaceful nations. The list is based among 163 independent territories and states.

This comes as traditional luxury destinations (Paris in particular), have unfortunately faced a sharp decline in tourism as fears of global terrorism grow. Trips to Paris are usually in conjunction with high-end shopping sprees in the city’s many boutique stores. Due to this, Paris’ economy has also seen a ripple effect from the tourism decline.

Thankfully, terrorism has not deterred people from travelling. People just now understandably set their sights on destinations where they can enjoy the culture, scenery and experience in safer conditions.

The top three countries of interest for the affluent travellers (New Zealand, Iceland and Portugal), apart from being the latest tourism targets and on the top 10 most peaceful countries list, also share one thing in common: a very small presence of top level hospitality brands in the market.

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New Zealand’s Huka Falls in Taupo

 

Within the Global Peace Index Report, these three countries ranked seventh (New Zealand) , fifth (Iceland), and eighth (Portugal) as the most peaceful nations. The list is based among 163 independent territories and states.

This comes as traditional luxury destinations (Paris in particular), have unfortunately faced a sharp decline in tourism as fears of global terrorism grow. Trips to Paris are usually in conjunction with high-end shopping sprees in the city’s many boutique stores. Due to this, Paris’ economy has also seen a ripple effect from the tourism decline.

Thankfully, terrorism has not deterred people from travelling. People just now understandably set their sights on destinations where they can enjoy the culture, scenery and experience in safer conditions.

The top three countries of interest for the affluent travellers (New Zealand, Iceland and Portugal), apart from being the latest tourism targets and on the top 10 most peaceful countries list, also share one thing in common: a very small presence of top level hospitality brands in the market.

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Iceland’s popularity grows stronger each year.

Will we see a growth in top-hotel brands in these countries or a further development within its existing brands? Very likely. On a personal note, however, I find that it is the lack of these big hotel brands in these countries that add to its charm and allure.

Interestingly, the seven remaining countries that are ranked in the top ten most peaceful in the world have seen a spike in hotel development. ( Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Slovenia and Switzerland )

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The Four Seasons Hotel Chain in Japan is expanding. Pictured: The Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi

Just as a particular example, the Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts brand is strengthening its presence in Japan by opening a second property in the country. The Four Seasons Tokyo (in the Marunouchi Business District) has been in the capital for 25 years and will be joined by a new Four Seasons property in Kyoto this autumn.

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Italy is one of the countries in Europe that will see a continued interest from luxury travellers over the next year. Pictured: Florence at night

Does this mean that affluent travellers are now shying away from Europe? Not at all. Gail Grimmett, president of ProTravel International and Tzell Travel Group (both of which are part of Travel Leaders Group), revealed that when they asked their luxury travel agents where their most discriminating clients would like to go over the next coming year (apart from the top 3 countries named above), they are booking or inquiring about Italy, the Mediterranean and France. All these three European destinations still made it to the top 10 list of areas of interest.

In light of current global issues, the importance of luxury travel agents are more evident as affluent travellers need guidance and advice from travel professionals who have actually travelled extensively to these countries.

Ms Grimmett adds, “Millions of travellers are still seeking to go to Europe. Our job as travel agent advisors is to educate our clients, so they may make informed decisions about their travel plans. For a significant percentage of our affluent travellers, Europe is still very much on their radar as a desirable travel destination.”

Sources: Travel Leaders Group and Global Peace Index 2016

Jean Carmela Lim is the voice behind luxury and adventure travel blog, Holy Smithereens. Since a childhood trip to Hong Kong and her first typewriter, Jean has spent a lifetime pursuing her passion of travel writing. With a background in the airline industry and government travel, Jean now creates travel content full-time on blogs and social media, exploring life's unforgettable moments through luxurious travels both near and far.

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