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Survey Names Top Five Hotel Brands for
Business Travel and Leisure Travel 
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ORLANDO, Fla. September 26, 2006 - Affluent travelers, those who enjoy an annual household income in excess of $150,000 (an estimated seven per cent of all U.S. households), represent a highly desirable target for many travel service marketers. Not surprisingly, their brand preferences vary significantly from those of their less-affluent counterparts as revealed in the soon-to-be-released 2006 Portrait of Affluent Travelers™. 

Well-to-do travelers display a clear preference for certain lodging brands depending on the primary purpose of their trip: business versus leisure. The preferred brand for business travel is Hyatt, whereas Ritz-Carlton reigns as the preferred lodging brand for leisure travel. 

The top five rankings (based on unaided mentions) for both business and leisure travel are summarized below: 
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Preferred Lodging Brands for
Business Travel (Unaided)
Brand
% of Affluent Business Travelers
Hyatt Regency/Park Hyatt  50%
Ritz Carlton  45%
Four Seasons 36%
Starwood 24%
Marriott   19%
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Preferred Lodging Brands for
Leisure Travel (Unaided)
Brand
% of Affluent Business Travelers
Ritz Carlton  46%
Hyatt Regency/Park Hyatt 43%
Four Seasons 38%
Starwood 17%
Marriott   14%
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Topping the list of Individual and/or independently-owned resorts preferred by affluent travelers for leisure travel is The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona, mentioned on an unaided basis by one out of every eight affluent travelers as noted below: 
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Preferred Independent Hotels or Resorts
for Leisure Travel (Unaided)
Brand
% of Affluent Business Travelers
The Phoenician  12%
The Broadmoor 11%
The Grand Hotel  9%
The Greenbrier 8%
The Breakers  7%
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Affluent business travelers also display a clear preference for certain airlines, with American Airlines mentioned by the slight majority as reflected below. And perhaps contrary to expectation, the concept of “value” isn’t lost on well-heeled business travelers either, as evidenced by the fact that fully one out of five affluent business travelers prefers a low-fare carrier: Southwest.
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Preferred Airline for
Business Travel (Unaided)
Airline
% of Affluent Business Travelers
American Airlines 55%
United Airlines 37%
Delta Airlines 36%
Southwest Airlines 23%
Continental Airlines   22%
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Affluent leisure travelers also display specific preferences when it comes to their interest in luxury cruise lines, with Holland America line topping the list of luxury cruise lines affluent leisure travelers are interested in patronizing during the next two years: 
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Preferred Cruise Line
(Unaided)
Cruise Line
% of Affluent Leisure Travelers Interested In cruising during the next two years
Holland America Line  15%
Cunard Line  9%
Windstar 8%
Radisson Seven Seas (a) 8%
Crystal Cruises   8%
(a) now Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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The 2006 Portrait of Affluent Travelers is a nationally projectable survey of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of the top 7% of U.S. households defined by annual income. Conducted during the 2nd quarter of 2006, the sample consisted of 600 respondents who took at least one overnight business or leisure trip during the previous year and stayed in “luxury” accommodations. Two-thirds of respondents had an annual household income between $150,000 and $250,000, and the remaining third had an annual household income in excess of $250,000. 
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Contact:

Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell
www.ypbr.com

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Also See: Four Seasons, Gaylord Hotels, Walt Disney World Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott Most-favored Hotel Brands in Which to Hold Meetings / MeetingNews Survey / June 2005
Market Metrix Announces Second Quarter 2006 Hospitality Index Results; Drury Inns Ranked Number 1 in Customer Satisfaction for the Hotel Industry / August 2006


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