By NAN Lifestyle Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 5, 2016: The Top 10 vacation destinations for the wealthiest one percent of U.S. households are in and four nations in the Americas, including three in the Caribbean, have made the list.
According to the new Resonance 2016 U.S. Luxury Travel Report, the wealthy in the U.S. like to travel mostly to:
Mexico, which earned the number one spot on the top 10 list.
They also like to vacation in:
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which came in at 7th, 8th and 10th on the list, respectively.
Researchers at Resonance based their findings on interviews with the top 1% and top 5% of U.S. international travelers: 1,667 travelers with a household income of at least $200k, or net worth of $2 million+, including 727 travelers with household income of $400k+ or net worth of $8 million or more – the wealthiest 1% in the country.
The wealthiest 5% take an average of 14.3 trips per year compared to just 4.8 by the average U.S. traveler (about half for business and half for leisure). With an average expenditure of $3,115 per person per vacation and an average of 2.9 people per household, that adds up to spending of more than $390 billion per year just on leisure travel alone – making wealthy U.S. travelers the most lucrative leisure market segment in the world.
The research found that the key to attracting the wealthy is offering hotel brands that resonate with them – both the top 5% and top 1% rate “upscale/luxury hotel or resort” as their preferred type of accommodation – and then providing exciting and experiential activities.
In Anguilla, where Resonance is currently marketing a Viceroy property, the government has focused almost exclusively on the development of luxury resorts, like Viceroy Anguilla, CéBlue Villas and Beach Resort, Malliouhana Resort, and the Zemi Beach House, which will open in February 2016 with beachfront residences starting at $2.1 million. And these efforts are paying off.
Total visitor arrivals to Anguilla increased by 17 percent from 2013 to 2014 and new projects like The Reef by CuisinArt, Manoah and Solaria contributed to a 38 percent increase in construction as they prepared for their openings. For a country that relies so heavily on tourism – ranking 7th globally for Travel and Tourism’s total contribution to GDP – Anguilla needs to attract a high net worth travel market if it is to maintain market share in the highly competitive Caribbean market.
Similarly, Mexico attracts the luxury crowd thanks to established and highly rated resorts like Four Seasons and St. Regis in Punta Mita and the re-opening of high end resorts in Los Cabos that closed following 2014’s Hurricane Odile.
The cliffside Resort at Pedregal on the southernmost tip of Cabo debuted a new champagne terrace overlooking the Pacific; One & Only Palmilla reopened after $140 million of renovations; and Montage Los Cabos will open its doors in 2017boasting a 1,400 acre luxury community with 122 guest rooms, 52 ownership residences and a main pool spanning two levels overlooking the Sea of Cortez. And not to be over looked, Ritz-Carlton’s Reserve (a luxuriously experiential offering) is also preparing to open in Los Cabos in 2017. Features include a desert botanical theme park, fisherman’s wharf, a 500-slip marina, and two private championship golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.