Conspicuous Leisure: A New Luxury Travel Trend?
While conspicuous consumption may be on the wane, new research by the Luxury Institute, conducted in cooperation with Resonance Consultancy, suggests that conspicuous leisure is on the rise. A two-year study of affluent U.S. households' lifestyles and aspirations conducted in 2008 and again in 2010 by the Luxury Institute reveals aspirations that are in sharp contrast with popular conceptions of wealthy attitudes. The corporate titles, Ivy League educations, cars, boats, jewelry, large homes, chauffeurs, private jets, furs, art collections and wine cellars often associated with wealth were nowhere to be found near the top of wealthy Americans' most desired list. In fact, the top four of the top 10 list of the most desirable luxury items and experiences in 2010 are:
•Taking exotic vacations
•Vacation home in the mountains or at the beach
•Extended time off work
•Freedom to work from home
The similarity between the results obtained before the recession in 2008 and after in 2010 suggests that conspicuous leisure will be a driving trend for years to come, according to The Luxury Institute.
For providers of high-end goods, services and experiences, the rise of conspicuous leisure will create both challenges and new opportunities for luxury brands, as the definition of luxury for U.S. households continues to evolve. And as example, the high end luxury destination club industry has seen its share of problems this year, including a recent bankruptcy. But, the remaining four large destination clubs have all reported substantial new membership numbers, as well as new properties acquired in the latter part of this year. In addition, news clubs, such as Demeure, Boundless Journeys, Second Home Destinations,and others, have moved into the space, further validating the possibility of conspicuous leisure as a new travel trend.