Europe Leads Luxury Travel


Switchfly 2015 Luxury Travel Index reveals luxury travellers still prefer European destinations, with Greece as the most popular country, but Asia and the Middle East are gaining.

Switchfly, Inc., the technology company powering travel search, booking and loyalty point redemption solutions for the world’s most celebrated brands, today announced its 2015 Luxury Travel Index.

Destinations were ranked by average length of stay, using data from Switchfly’s global booking engine, and give some insight into the traveling habits of people flying first class and sleeping five star. The data revealed, among other things, that although the majority of top luxury travel destinations are European, the top two luxury travel destinations are in Asia and the Middle East, respectively, and that luxury travellers are spending at least twice as much time on their vacation as the average American tourist does.

Seoul, South Korea, a bustling metropolis, international business hub, and jumping-off point for many Asia-bound travellers, topped Switchfly’s Luxury Travel list with an average visit time of 13 days. Dubai, UAE, home of the world’s busiest international airport, took the number two spot, with an average trip time of 12.7 days. Milan, Italy with 12.3 days, Athens, Greece has 11.5 days, and Singapore with 11.1 days rounded out the top 5.

Switchfly’s research also discovered that the average Luxury Travel vacation is more than a week long, and the top 15 destinations vary from an average length of stay of 8.3 days in Miami, Florida, USA to 13 days in Seoul, South Korea. Greece’s economic problems have been a boon to travellers, and the country ranks as the most popular country with three cities in the Top 15. Athens, Greece is the 4th most popular Luxury Travel destinations, while Crete and Mykonos come in at numbers 12 and 13, respectively.

Daniel Farrar, Chief Executive Officer at Switchfly, expressed his pleasure at the results of the research.

“We’re delighted to share a snapshot of where and how people are traveling around the world this year. Every year economic, social, and political events affect travel trends, and this year we’ve seen a rise in travel to Greece as the country’s economic crisis had made travel more affordable. Brazil also saw a boost in Luxury Travel, most likely due to last summer’s FIFA World Cup.”

Together, Asian and European destinations dominate the industry with 13 of the15 most popular destinations. While the continent of Europe still holds a majority share of destinations on the list with seven out of 15, Asia is hot on its heels with 5 of the 15 top spots and two in the top five (Seoul and Singapore). The Americas, on the other hand, only placed twice in the top 15, and not strongly: Sao Paolo, Brazil tied with Hong Kong for 7th place and Miami, Florida, the only U.S.A. destination in the list at all, came in 15th, with an average luxury trip of 8.3 days.