20 01 2010

Consumers living in Portugal or planning to visit the country this year are looking to spend more on luxury travel, hotels and fine dining, according to the results of a recent survey*.

The Luxury Lifestyle Survey, conducted last month by Vila Joya, Portugal’s only 2* Michelin restaurant & hotel, in partnership with ILM Advisory and Yellow Kite Luxury Lifestyle Marketing & PR, showed that 86% of respondents are willing to pay the same or more for luxury items in 2010 than they did in 2009, with a particular emphasis on travel and hotels.

This corresponds with 66% who said they spent the same or more on luxury items in 2009 compared with previous years – positive signs for economic growth and an increase in consumer spending in 2010 in the luxury sector.

Moreover, it was shown that consumers in 2010 are willing to spend up to 15% of their income on luxury items – defined as travel, hotels, fine dining, clothes and cars.

Leading brand recognition – without prompting – provided names such as Mercedes heading the luxury car sector, Armani the clothing sector, Moët & Chandon the food and beverage sector, and Ritz the international hotel sector.

A key element of the survey looked at what influenced people to spend more in the luxury sector, and why in fact they would pay more for it. Service came out clearly at the top, with nearly 50% of all respondents citing this as the defining factor in the decision to spend more on a luxury product versus a normal product. Quality was the next key factor, understandable for a product costing more than average.

Key motivators for choosing luxury hotels ranked relaxation as number one followed very closely (with less than one percentage point) by wine & gastronomy – a point proven by the fact that 51% of respondents had enjoyed a fine dining experience within the previous month, 25% regularly enjoy one each month, and 42% at least every three months. 60% usually spend less than €250 per meal but one respondent did admit to spending €3500 on his last meal!

Home luxuries were the products on which 38% of the respondents cut their expenditure in 2009, and the one on which they are planning to cut more during 2010. On the other hand, travel experiences are the luxury products on which people are willing to pay more during 2010, something mentioned by 41% of the respondents.

The specially-invited group of luxury lifestyle buyers had the following demographic – 48% of the respondents earn more than €125,000 per annum, 89% have completed college/university, 32,86% were aged between 30 & 39 and 40% between 40 and 55.

The full results of the survey, which also assesses the factors that determine customer choices in the luxury sector, are available from ILM.

*The Luxury Hotel Survey was conducted between 16-29 December 2009 among 210 participants. Over 67% of all nationalities currently live in Portugal, with the remainder being regular visitors and/or second homeowners. All results have been independently verified by ILM Advisory.
Vila Joya Luxury Hotel Survey