Elegant Resorts average booking values soar 48% above pre-pandemic levels

Average booking values at Elegant Resorts are 48% higher than before the pandemic to reach £28,500 as luxury holidaymakers defy the cost of living crisis.

Findings from an annual client survey show that more than half (55%) would cut back on other luxuries rather than reduce the number of holidays they take.

The frequency of trips has returned to pre-Covid levels with more than 80% of clients planning to take three trips or more a year and 13% planning at least five.

The Future of Luxury Travel report said: “As the cost of living crisis continues, clients are remaining fairly resilient with the majority not willing to compromise on their holidays, and even spending more per booking. 

“It is important to recognise that clients are looking to travel as much, if not more, than previous years and would be willing to cut back on other luxuries to do so. 

“A key development has been how they now prioritise their mental wellbeing above anything else – leading to an increase in those seeking to indulge in wellness retreats.”

While family and friends are the biggest influence on future travel, weekend newspapers and travel magazines continue to inspire clients alongside growth in use of social media.

The survey found a “significant increase” in Instagram and Facebook users compared to 2021 while TikTok appeared as an emerging platform in client responses for the first time. 

Elegant Resorts launched TikTok as an “inspirational channel” at the end of 2022 and has already seen video views surpass 17,000. 

The operator has also been a 12% growth on 2021 in the number of people who would book online, “demonstrating the impact on consumers’ confidence and preferences in the digital channels”.

Traditional holiday locations are still firm favourites, but Europe has now taken the top spot from the Caribbean with countries like Italy, Spain and Greece being ahead of the rest. 

Three quarters of survey respondents intend to book a European break in 2023 and 46% hope to go to the Caribbean this year. 

Early 2023 bookings confirm the top five destinations as Barbados, Spain, Greece, The Maldives and Dubai. The US, South Africa and Portugal are proving to be popular emerging destinations while Thailand, Australia and New Zealand are making a slower but steady recovery following the pandemic.

Multi-centre holidays have gained in popularity following the easing of Covid travel curbs with 40% of clients likely to take such an option to gain new cultural experiences; 38% are interested in self-drive holidays and 48% would prefer to combine a city with a beach holiday – the biggest growing trend to emerge from the study.

However, interest in city breaks is leading the way, with 73% saying this type of trip was highly likely this year, while 54% also opted for a private villa holiday – a trend that is continuing.   

Another key trend is the rise of wellness holidays, with mental wellbeing considered the number one lifestyle priority in the wake of the pandemic with  22% of clients “highly likely” to book a retreat. 

However, the key factors of importance when on holiday remain unchanged as clients look to relax and impeccable service is seen as a given. 

“But what has significantly changed is the increased importance of culture and experiences, and 92% of clients said that the quality of food and drinks on offer is of most importance,” according to the report.  

“This emerging trend has led us to develop and expand our concierge team who work with our product teams to seek out unique, authentic and high-class experiences in every destination to create those all-important everlasting memories by connecting with nature and supporting local communities.”

Elegant Resorts managing director Lisa Fitzell said: “The start of 2023 is very encouraging. We have had some exceptional weeks and I hope that this year will bring our full recovery and see us perform better than previous years. 

“Holidays are very important to our clients, who cherish the long-lasting memories they bring with loved ones. 

“Going away is also key to wellbeing, and as a result of this we launched our Wellness Collection earlier this year allowing clients to book retreats whilst continuing to use the expertise and personalised service we offer.”

Related Articles

Aman sister brand Janu to open property in Dubai

Barbara Muckermann checks in as chief executive of Kempinski Hotels

Voice of Luxury: Four Seasons' Alejandro Reynal