A very strong majority of SmartFlyer’s clients are willing to travel by air in 2021, according to a recent survey the travel agency conducted. In all, 93 percent of clients are willing to fly either domestically or internationally. For those uncertain on flying, 63 percent said they are waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in order to do so.
Multigenerational family vacations and friends’ getaways within resorts and private villas ranked as the highest categories of interest, according to SmartFlyer; this was followed closely by safari and “bucket list” trips, including around-the-world private jet journeys, remote retreats and other “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences. SmartFlyer added that 93 percent look to the agency’s advisors when it comes to choosing the best place to stay and 81 percent specifically work with them for the “un-Googleable” advice.
In terms of top-booked destinations, the status of border openings is driving business to international gateways with changes occurring on a day-by-day basis. SmartFlyer said it is experiencing unprecedented levels of last-minute bookings, often influenced by the loosening of restrictions. Iceland, Seychelles, Bora Bora, the Maldives, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Morocco, Egypt, Colombia, Costa Rica and Belize are top of mind for Americans wishing to tick off “bucket list” trips after months traveling stateside, it added.
Further, the company’s Q1 2021 production has exceeded Q1 2020 production, putting it on target to surpass its 2019 business — the most lucrative year in its 30-year history — by the close of the fiscal year. At the close of 2020, SmartFlyer recorded a 280 percent increase in high-value bookings (over $10,000), a direct result of longer stays and higher room categories. With the onset of 2021, the agency has also recorded single bookings exceeding $1.2 million in revenue. SmartFlyer reported a 115 percent growth for private retreat bookings and 187 percent growth for private aviation sales.