Study: Travel still a top priority for wealthiest Americans

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Art Pfenning A study of affluent Americans, conducted by the American Affluence Research Center (AARC), confirms the importance of travel to Americas wealthiest citizens.

The survey includes a national sample of men and women in 412 households that are among the wealthiest 10% in the country. Of the group surveyed, the average household income was $329,000 and the average net worth was $2.7 million.   

According to the survey, during the closing months of 2004, more than one in four (26%), or about six million, affluent Americans will be vacationing outside the continental U.S. 

What is more, two in five (40%) of those in the survey whose net worth was at least $6 million said they plan to vacation outside the U.S. by years end.

The average year-end vacation duration will be 11 days, and the estimated expected cost of the vacation is $6,800 (excluding gambling and shopping), or more than $600 per night. The most popular destinations named for the year-end vacations were Europe (43%), the Caribbean (22%), Canada (14%), and the Far East/Asia (13%).

The research also suggests that travel will be even stronger next year among these affluent Americans. Nearly three times as many survey respondents said they will be spending more on travel domestically over the next 12 months than those who said they will be spending less (28% vs. 10%). And three-quarters of those polled (77%) said they will spend about the same or more on international travel over the next year.

Art Pfenning is the research director for Northstar Travel Media, Travel Weeklys parent company. For information on how research can help your business, or if you are interested in having NTM Research conduct your next project, contact Pfenning at [email protected].

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