Luxury Travel Market is a Booming Opportunity in Latin America

The luxury travel market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the tourism industry. According to the ITB World Travel Trends Report 17/18, high-end travel ranges around 7% of the market nowadays and its growth is in the double-digits.

When we talk about Latin American travelers, however, we tend to forget the opportunities in the luxury market. Emerging economies play a big role in the development of tourism. The Latin America outbound market already experienced a 9.3% growth this year.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Key factors focused on different Latin American Markets
  • Where Latin American Tourists are going
  • What Latin American Tourists are looking for
  • How Latin American Travelers behave when they travel
  • Why Latin American Travelers are different from other tourists

The luxury travel market is experiencing a shift and people are seeking authentic experiences instead of status. Emerging markets are helping a market diversification in many destinations. The idea of the luxury traveler being in a 5-star hotel sipping margaritas by the pool is not the only reality anymore.

Nowadays, travelers are seeking experiences and stories they can tell over and over again. They want to live experiences worth remembering.

Luxury travelers are not looking only for traveling the world anymore. They’re looking for experiencing it. Latin American tourists are a big slice of this market and above anything else, they’re looking for authenticity. 

Customers are looking to luxury travel in a microscopic way. They want unique experiences focused exactly on what they’re interested at. When it comes to Latin America International tourism, personalization is key. They have plenty of money to spend, but are looking for experiences worth having from the beginning to the end of the trip.

“There is no question that Latin American travelers are some of the most desirable hotel guests in the world. Brazilians are comfortable traveling far, due to their vacation periods they often stay for lengthy periods of times and with a culture of strong family values, they will often travel in multi-generational groups. They are very open to a wide variety of experiences and want to treat themselves to a variety of experiences both within and outside the hotels”, said Simon Mayle, Head of Marketing at ILTM. 

Even the way you connect with those travelers is different. Since the first contact, the clients want to feel they’re being treated with absolute dedication to their needs and requests. They’re looking for crafted routes focused exactly on what they want.

They’re choosing exclusive boutique hotels instead of big chains. Experiences where they can feel comfortable while living the local culture. Guides and tours that will give them plenty of stories to tell.

Emerging Countries and the Luxury Travel Market

Mexican Luxury Travelers

Mexican tourism is one of the biggest growing markets in Latin America. Having an above-average growth in international tourism, Mexicans are working hard and traveling harder. According to an article in Forbes Mexico, they are well-informed, are spending more and want to travel to places they can feel safe and relaxed. The Mexican travelers are looking for regular and adventure cruises, besides unique activities.

Mexicans’s favorite destinations outside of LatAm:

  • Europe – especially France, Italy, UK and Spain
  • United States and Canada
  • Asia – India, Japan, Thailand and Cambodia
  • Africa

Inside Latin America, Mexicans are traveling a lot to Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil.

Argentinian Luxury Travelers

Argentinian travelers are on the lookout for a mix of comfort and luxury. According to an analysis using data from the booking website Kayak, they look for 4 or 5-star hotels. They also tend to avoid hotels with only one-star or none. Argentinian travelers prefer to focus on comfortable accommodation instead of expensive flights.

Argentinian travelers are also seeking unique experiences. Half of Kayak’s sales are done through the web while the other half are directly by phone or chat.

They value highly personalized advice and are looking for information before they book anything.

Colombian Luxury Travelers

Colombians are travelers with a big focus on luxury accommodation. According to Trivago, a travel planner website, 21% of the Colombian users usually search for 5-star hotels.

Colombians might not travel as much as the Mexicans, but they’re willing to spend more money when doing so.

Brazilian Travelers

We talked about emerging markets driving growth in the luxury market. Having this in mind, we can get why Brazil is not a market that the travel industry can afford to ignore.

According to the Brazilian Central Bank, in January 2018 alone, Brazilians spent $2 billion on trips abroad – a number 26.7% higher than in the same period during 2017.

Brazilians are all about personalization as well. When they shop, they want monograms, exclusive designs and once-in-a-lifetime moments. This, of course, is absolutely reflected in their travel behavior.

You may also like to read this article we’ve written on the 5 things you need to know about the Brazilian Traveler.

Another huge tipping point for Brazilian travelers is the method of payment. Multiple companies are adapting their payment possibilities to accommodate installments.

This is a common practice in Brazil. High-end consumers can afford to pay all at once, but they prefer to pay in monthly installments while their money is being invested.

Where is the Latin American Luxury Traveller heading to?

According to Highlighting the Power of Latin American Luxury Travellers created by iLtm Americas, the most important destinations are the following:

  • USA (20%)
  • France (17%)
  • Italy (15%)
  • UK (12%)
  • Spain (10%)
  • Turkey (6%)
  • Portugal (5%)
  • Thailand (5%)
  • South Africa (5%)
  • Argentina (5%)

How does the Latin American Tourist behave?

As you can see in the chart below from the iLtm report, the Latin American Luxury Traveller has different habits from the rest of the world.


Luxury travelers from Latin America are more interested in:

  • Good staff attitude
  • The size of the room
  • The overall cleanliness of the room

Even though some of them are very friendly, they’re hard to please, usually having an overall satisfaction of 55%.

Another key element? The Latin American Tourist finds important to be able to book on-the-go using their mobile phones. This is absolutely different from the North American Luxury Travellers. They’re also writing more and more reviews. This means that they want to experience the best but also share their opinion with the world.

LatAm luxury travelers also tend to stay longer than the average tourist, spending more money in specific locations.

What is the Latin American Luxury Traveler looking for?

  • Unique experiences
  • Adventure and Safari
  • Handicrafts
  • Culinary experiences
  • Shopping experiences
  • Exclusive Tours
  • Cultural Immersion

Our travelers are looking for destinations where they can find real and genuine experiences, intrinsic to the place. At the same time, they are seeking to spend their time at incredible hotels with excellent services and local flavor. Because of this, African safari’s are one of our most successful tours“, said Paula Gamas, from International Travel Group.

Final Thoughts

The Latin American luxury travel market is a booming opportunity for your brand to expand its reach and focus on non-obvious parts of the Americas.

It’s a growing market. Latin Americans luxury travelers have billions of dollars to invest. They’re helping the travel market shape its format according to their needs and desires.

You can hop into this opportunity right now and shape the future of the luxury travel industry. You’re going to do it side by side with travelers keen to experience the world.