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Interested in having a concierge-like experience when traveling, or maybe snagging a first class ticket even if you have to pay more in cash or miles? If so you are not alone. American Express Travel experts found that luxury travelers are paying more for a great travel experience whether that means using a travel agent, staying away longer or snagging an upgraded first class ticket.
While airlines have been making money by charging à la carte style for things that make travel easier and more enjoyable, like early boarding times, seat preferences and chilling in the lounge, there has been a 208% upswing in first class bookings, according to Amex Travel.
The rise can be traced back to consumers wanting more and being willing to pay for it. "We've noticed that weary air travelers are opting for the convenience and value of paying one first-class fare to get it all, enhancing their overall experience and making first-class air travel the new version of the luxury all-inclusive frontier," says Claire Bennett, executive vice president, American Express Travel.
Americans staying longer, packing in experiences
American travelers previousy followed a pattern of vacationing and traveling four times a year, and staying for four nights. But things are changing, with all generations looking to stay away longer and have experiences that are nothing short of immersive journeys, where they get to see what it feels like to be a local.
As part of this trend luxury travelers are looking to have a more personalized travel experience, which includes everything from getting information on trending restaurants to having one of a kind experiences, according to the study. And travel agents play a key role in all of this, becoming the new version of old school concierges, with travelers wanting all their services taken care of in one location.
Not surprisingly they also found that staying connected via their devices was important when booking extended holidays abroad.
The hottest travel destinations for 2017
The American Express Travel booking data found a 26% uptick in how long people are staying away, when it comes to hitting the hottest international vacation destinations.
What are these hot travel destinations for 2017? They include:
• Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
• Goa, India
• Reykjavik, Iceland
• Bozeman, Montana
• Tokyo, Japan
• Vancouver, Canada
• Fogo Island, Newfoundland
• Auckland, New Zealand
• London, England
• Paris, France