Hotel Online  Special Report

 Strong Travel Forecast for 2004 by World's Most
Affluent Leisure and Business Travelers
Most Affluent Travelers in the World, Weigh In

NEW YORK, March 26, 2004 - In a recent survey of its affluent customers, The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. found that its best guests -- its Leaders Club members -- are definitely in a traveling frame of mind.

With 80,000 members worldwide, Leaders Club is the company's guest loyalty and recognition program.  Members' average individual net worth is in excess of USD 1.66 million, with a median annual income of USD 250,000.  Nearly 40% of Leaders Club members are CEOs, company owners or presidents.  More than 84% of them hold advanced educational degrees.

On the leisure front, more than 41% anticipate taking between 4 and 6 trips, 19% between 7 and 10 trips, and 16% more than 10 trips during 2004.

Fully 59% of the respondents said that the recent devaluation of the dollar against foreign currencies would not deter them from traveling internationally this year.  And indeed, 44% said they were more likely to do so this year than last.

So where are these affluent and influential consumers going? More than 30% indicated Europe, nearly 29% opted for North America, 19% looked toward the Caribbean, approximately 11% selected Asia, 8% favored Latin America, and 3% chose Africa.

Location, location, location.  Two-thirds of the respondents indicated location within a destination and the destination itself as the most important factors in determining their choice of hotel.  Only 3.5% cited price as the most crucial.

Are Leading Hotels guests feeling more adventurous?  They seem to be, as 56% said they were more likely to seek out new destinations this year; 55% said they would be more likely to return to destinations they had visited before.

For 52% of these globetrotters, resorts and island getaways were the preferred destinations, while 49% said they would be more likely to visit major cultural capitals.

The breakdown of their business travel destinations came in with almost 56% citing North America, 25% Europe, 11% Asia, 4% Latin America, and the Caribbean and Africa being mentioned by less than 2% each.  27% anticipate taking more than 10 trips, 25% plan on 4 to 6, and 13% said they will likely take between 7 and 10 business trips in 2004.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Marshall Calder, Senior Vice President of Marketing for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., said, "Over the past three fiscal quarters, we have seen a steady increase in demand from our customers.  For them, travel does not represent a frivolous expenditure; it is an integral part of their lifestyle, and they are continuing to reclaim that lifestyle, despite currency fluctuations and ongoing political uncertainties."

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is the prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing more than 400 of the world's finest hotels, and operator of




The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
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Also See: The 50 Most Requested Destinations for the Labor Day Weekend; Survey / Aug 2003
Survey Shows Americans Willing to Pay More for Travel Services that Protect the Environment / TIA / October 2003

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