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89% of millionaires plan to spend on luxury travel this year

As we head into peak holiday season, we take a look at the global luxury travel space, and the trends that we think will be spanning across 2024 and beyond.

Rachel Manning Director 17/05/2024

89% of millionaires are planning to spend on luxury travel this year. This is up 15% on 2023, a figure bolstered by 18-34-year-old HNWIs (90%). So, where do we think that spend will be going?

Middle Eastern locations

Whilst classic travel destinations continue to be popular, we’re seeing a growing interest in more emerging destinations with luxury travellers looking to put new pins in their travel maps.

Specifically, we’ve identified a surge in interest in Middle Eastern locations, particularly for younger millionaires, with 30% of under 34- year-old’s considering a luxury trip to UAE or Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, in particular, is on an open mission to become an ultra-luxury tourist destination; part of its broader mission to diversify its wealth from oil. It is investing heavily in a tourism infrastructure through hotels, resorts, and airports to ensure it can meet these aspirations.

  • The cultural draw: Saudi Arabia is famed for its vast desert landscapes and is home to some of the oldest civilisations and richest heritage in the world. Younger millionaires are intrigued by this, with 62% of 18 – 34 year old’s viewing the culture as a key draw to visit the country.
  • A shopping hotspot: Dubai has long been known for luxury shopping, with its vast air-conditioned malls packed with designer stores, each going above and beyond to meet the needs of its clientele. However, 40% of younger millionaires are now drawn to Saudi Arabia for shopping and 1/3 spending more than £3000 on fashion when on holiday. This is a high spend area set for growth if the need can be facilitated.

What does this mean for you?

  • Luxury holiday providers and tour guides should ensure their audience has unique access to the heritage of Saudi Arabia.
  • Locations that can provide both shopping and experience will likely feel the biggest boom. For example, Jeddah hosts the crown jewel of Saudi Malls with its ‘Mall of Arabia’, as well UNESCO celebrated heritage sites, tapping into this dual need of culture and shopping.

Experiences over possessions – why choose?

The luxury traveller is looking for both premium shopping locations and unique, authentic experiences connecting them more deeply to a location. They are often driven by personalisation and desire trips that resonate with their individual tastes and passions, be it art, gastronomy, history, or adventure.

We’ve found that 40% of millionaires spend upwards of £3000 for experiences whilst travelling alongside high spends across a range of categories such as fine art and collectables.

As needs evolve, luxury brands must innovate continuously. Those that can excel in delivering tailor-made experiences plus shopping will likely to succeed.

What does this mean for you?

  • Partnering with local businesses and brands when designing travel itineraries is absolutely key. Partnering well help you to create an authentic delivery whilst maintaining control of the luxury service elements expected.
  • Consider offering local or more authentic accommodation to provide a genuine and realistic experience. We could see this manifest as a rise in boutique accommodation or even a luxury lens to apartment sharing platforms such as Airbnb.
  • Look at collaborations with local artists to provide high quality memorable take home items for luxury travellers.
You can find out more about the work our wealth and luxury team undertakes here, or if you would like speak to one of our wealth specialists, please click here.

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