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Big Spenders Plan to Go All ‘White Lotus’ and Travel More in 2023, a New Report Says

Affluent travelers say they are more interested in investing in experiences rather than luxury goods, according to the survey.

Wide shot of female friends in discussion while sitting poolside at luxury suite of tropical resort at sunrise Thomas M Barwick via Getty Images

Affluent travelers are already looking to 2023 and planning their next great escapes. A new report suggests that wealthy jetsetters will spend more money on their vacations next year. 

The International Luxury Travel Market trade show, which is taking place this week, has provided new information about the plans of well-heeled travelers, according to Bloomberg. A study undertaken by Altiant and sponsored by American Express surveyed 1,200 high-net-worth individuals from 14 countries across Asia, Europe and the Americas during the second half of 2022, as pandemic travel restrictions worldwide began to drop. The takeaway? Most big spenders plan on investing more money in experiences than conventional luxury goods. 

Findings from the survey showed that nearly 60 percent plan on spending more on travel in 2023 compared to 10 percent of respondents who say that they would cut back. Respondents noted that health and safety were their top concerns when choosing a destination. Meanwhile, 61 percent of those surveyed stated that wellness was vital when deciding what destinations and hotels to visit for the upcoming year. 

The survey results reinforced another trend—many travelers prefer to fly less but lengthen their trips. That correlates with the rising number of digital nomads, a new class of luxury leisure travelers looking for stays that can extend several months for short-term residence. Forty-five percent of the respondents said they were interested in planning more eco-friendly trips next year, regardless of length.

Travelers who undertake far-flung adventures abroad will likely have to shell out a bit more next year. Over the last three years, the industry has seen a 10 percent uptick in the price of a business class seats across international flights, according to data gathered by aviation analytics company Cirium. In contrast, travelers willing to stay close to home may see some savings: The average price for a business-class seat on a domestic flight has dropped to $1,447 in 2022, down from $1,708 in 2019. 

One thing appears to be clear: If you’re planning your very own Has White Lotus adventure, you won’t be the only one. Just remember to steer clear of the piano bar.

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