Values don’t change

In Strategy, Positioning, Value Alignment

There were some notable results that came from two recent surveys – Skift’s annual U.S. Affluent Traveler Trends, and Globalwebindex’s Affluent Consumer Audience Report. The answers reflect a continuing trend with affluent travellers. It’s less about service or luxury. They are seeking altruism and self-actualization through travel.

The survey results also support our thinking on affluent travellers, and their values. It’s better aligning to values over preferences. Values don’t change. And the preferences flow from the values. The preferences, like trends, will change over time. But it’s always underpinned by the values.

I’ve grouped the survey results below into three categories for simplicity:

Self Improvement & Actualization

Affluent travellers want to be challenged. They want to learn and experiences new things. They want to improve themselves. Luxury is not enough. People who are at the top of the needs hierarchy want more from their travel experience.

Environmental Ethics & Altruism

Sustainability is an important value for affluent travellers. It reflects the needs of affluent travellers evolving. But it’s also because they’re on the highest rung of the needs hierarchy. Always consider sustainability when you make decisions. You’ll attract more of this audience, improve HR, and increase brand equity. Plus you also get the halo effect.

Family & Privacy

These values go hand in hand. The majority (about 2/3) of affluent travellers have families, and travel with them. So your travel product needs to accommodate the needs of their family.

Privacy is also important for high net worth travellers. Service should be provided discreetly, before and during stays. But this extends to other considerations, like physical spaces or activities.


Considering the values of this audience is important for brands from a high level. But affluent consumers also have habits that differ from non-affluent ones. Consider them when you are thinking about things from a tactical level.

Consider that:

Tactics, like preferences, will change over time. But brands that align to values will always have a solid foundation to guide their tactics.

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