Most of us have not had the chance to open our travel suitcases for nearly a year now. They’ve been gathering dust in the closet or the attic, along with our passports, and the urge to travel by air or sea has been ever-growing.
Yet most of us will remain grounded in 2021, either for lack of immunity passports, money or reason.
Yet others were making luxury travel plans as per a survey by YouGov, and it got me thinking.
Why not reveal what the survey says and add to it some other relevant data that can help someone capitalize on the opportunity by providing a needed service.
YouGov: Top survey results
The latest data analysis produced by YouGov for Reed Exhibitions, the organizer of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has revealed that 46% of luxury travelers in the Middle East are planning to travel internationally at some stage during 2021.
YouGov defines luxury travelers as those who tend to fly business or first-class and stay in five-star accommodations.
More than half (52%) of the respondents confirmed that they would also plan to take a domestic holiday or staycation during 2021.
Furthermore, 25% of respondents were planning to make a business trip, either domestically or internationally and 4% of respondents had no plans to travel anywhere in 2021 (I’m one of those).
31% of respondents said they planned to travel twice over the next 12 months and 25% confirmed they were planning on making at least one overseas trip.
40% plan to take their children with them.
Travelers are keen on destinations with outstanding natural beauty (34%), beach holidays (34%), conducive climate (29%), and connectivity (28%).
Now that on its own is enough to spark some product or service ideas, but here’s more.
Charter jet market
Many love to fly in style, and though owning a jet may be out of reach for your typical luxury traveler in the Middle East, chartering one may just fit the bill.
The Middle East and Africa charter jet services market is anticipated to grow annually at 3% between 2020 and 2025.
Top Leading Companies of Middle-East and Africa Jet Charter Services Market include Empire Aviation Group, Royal Jet, ExecuJet, JetSmarter, evoJets, Private Jet Charter, and others.
The preference for luxury travel has been growing rapidly in the Middle-East mainly due to the presence of many HNWIs in this region. As per the 2019 Capgemini Financial Services Analysis, there are nearly 695,000 HNWIs in the region.
To provide a personalized experience, aircraft charter operators are leveraging state-of-the-art innovation to offer a complete suite of flight solutions from fixed-price charter to customized membership programs.
Saudi Arabia is anticipated to dominate the market in focus during the forecast period. Currently, the business jet fleet in Saudi constitutes around 23% of the regional fleets of which are an increasing number of newer generation aircraft.
Occupancy rates in two main markets
According to GlobalData’s Travel and Tourism Intelligence Center, luxury hotel occupancy rates in 2020 decreased to around 50% in China and 53% in the US. That said, the rates are expected to reach 2019 levels by 2023.
Bitcoin and luxury travel
Owning Bitcoins is proof that you are luxury-minded or at least speculating for bigger paydays.
Regardless, if you have an opportunity in the future to travel during a bitcoin boom, like the one witnessed in the period ending 2020 and halfway through January 2021, it could prove opportunistic.
A significant bump in bitcoin values, like the $1000-$3000 per day upward price swings we saw recently, could finance an entire trip on its own.
To help you understand the process of booking a luxury vacation with Bitcoin, you should consider following these tips.
Careful speculating with Bitcoin
With Bitcoin sitting in your crypto wallet waiting for you to make a payment on your travel costs, you are speculating. You are hoping that the value of Bitcoin doesn’t drop before you pull the trigger.
To avoid missing out on paying for your vacation with Bitcoin due to valuation issues, you have two choices.
First, you can speculate and wait until Bitcoin moves in value before you initiate your payments then later pay using Bitcoin’s extra earnings if it goes up in price or buy Bitcoin using fiat if it goes down.
Second, you can hold cash in your crypto wallet until you are ready to pay your travel merchant. That’s the point where you purchase Bitcoin and immediately send your payment.
Identify travel merchants that accept Bitcoin
If you are committed to using Bitcoin to pay for your luxury vacation, you need to understand there are limitations. The number of travel merchants that accept Bitcoin is still relatively small.
The top travel merchants that accept Bitcoin include Cheapair, aBitSky, Virgin Galactic, Travala, and Bitcoin Travel.
Plot out your bitcoin spending plans
While trying to find the right travel merchant, you should also be plotting out your vacation. Your plan should include where you want to go, the kinds of accommodations you want, and the attractions you want to see. Once you have a plan in place, you can match your plan up with merchants that can help you and accept Bitcoin.
Use bitcoin Gift Cards
If you can’t find a way to pay for your vacation plans directly with Bitcoin, find merchants that offer all-purpose gift cards and will accept Bitcoin payments. You can purchase gift cards with Bitcoin and use gift cards to pay for your travel costs.