In addition to its strong economy, its rich cultural heritage, the production of world-class automobiles, and its claim to have been the birthplace of classical music, Germany is also home to the third largest number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNW) in the world, as well as approximately 130,000 very high net worth individuals (VHNW). Germany is ranked third for the number of billionaires per country after the United States and China with 72% of its UHNW individuals being self-made. Additionally, according to the IW Institute (Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft), Germany has historically granted its workers the longest vacations. With an average of 30 days of paid leave and 10 days of public holidays per year, German companies have the highest number of days off allocated to employees in the European Union.
Because of the high number of individuals with disposable incomes and free time for vacation, it is not surprising that German travellers make up a significant part of the luxury travel industry. When it comes to vacation choices, German travellers certainly have an impact on the trends within luxury travel. Let’s delve into some facts surrounding German luxury travellers’ preferences and their destinations of choice.
Habits of German travellers
Understanding the motivations of German travellers, and subsequently catering to their needs, can significantly boost an increase in visitors to certain vacation areas and resorts. Wealthy Germans have a higher preference to book luxury villas and vacation homes than any of their 26 EU counterparts.
According to research conducted by Mintel, German holiday-makers prioritise quality time with family and friends above all, and there has been an increase in the demand for unique experiences during vacations, where it is possible to create long-lasting memories and enjoy special moments. The same report also found that another important aspect of holiday time for all age-groups is relaxation in compensation for a busy and stressful daily life.
It is also worth noting that 81% of German travellers are eager to immerse themselves in local culture when on holiday. Germans enjoy experiencing foreign culture and therefore may choose a destination where it is possible to observe and partake in local traditions, whether that be sampling local cuisine or visiting sites of cultural heritage. Aside from partaking in excursions to local villages or towns, locations where it is possible to play the nation’s favourite sports of golf, soccer, skiing and tennis will also be popular with German luxury travellers.
Research also shows that luxury travellers are increasingly environmentally conscious, showing an increased concern for sustainability and UHNW individuals are able to sufficiently stem the cost of eco-friendly practices. Reports also show that a concern for sustainability is likely to have an impact on the travel sector and is set to insight a ‘green transformation’. Due to these trends, travel and luxury rental companies are consistently reviewing the eco-friendly credentials of their properties and are seeking to improve them – it is undeniable that the concept of eco-travel continues to trend.
However, with the exception of those that are conscious of their carbon footprint, German travellers still prefer to fly to Europe for a vacation, and according to Mintel, the popularity of domestic holidays post-pandemic is declining and younger travellers are increasingly drawn to far-flung exotic locations such as the Caribbean or The Bahamas. In terms of age, Mintel also reports that the average age of German UHNW and VHNW individuals is 61, therefore the trends set by younger generations may not necessarily apply here.
Now that we understand some of the travel habits of wealthy German travellers, let’s look into the locations that they favour and the style of property that they return to time and time again. According to Luxury Travel Research, 56% of luxury travellers prefer beach days, with wealthy German tourists booking villa stays for an average of 15 days, whilst Ski Chalet stays tend to be booked for shorter periods at an average of 6 days. The top 3 travel destinations for German travellers are Spain, Greece and Italy, each location offering a plethora of stunning private rental properties for UHNW and VHNW guests.
In Tuscany, Sirreti member Villa Argentario by Villa Flair has proven to be popular with German travellers year after year. An expansive property with a palatial interior, Villa Argentario has 10 luxuriously finished bedrooms, a grand fireplace hall, and several plush living areas. One of Villa Flair’s most impressive portfolio properties, this sea-front estate is truly spectacular. It is surrounded by 26 hectares of land and has access to a private beach, the bay of Cacciarella. This property ticks all of the boxes when it comes to German luxury travellers’ preferences – sheer luxury set in a culturally stimulating location.
Another property that is popular with German guests is Villa ASA in Slovenian Karst, a truly unique and charming rental. Designed to promote relaxation, rest and peace, the property dates back to 1784 and is ideal for those who seek a vacation in a secluded yet elegant setting. Aside from having a more rustic feel, the villa does not compromise when it comes to indulgence and quality and Villa ASA’s welcoming hosts offer a full range of services and treatments for guests. There is plenty of opportunity to experience and immerse oneself in local culture and nature too, as the property is close to one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe, Lake Bled.
Similarly, the LV Estate Chalets, located in the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Italian Alps, is incredibly popular with UHNW German travellers – perhaps mostly those who seek to prioritise quality time with their friends and families, without compromising the extravagance of a luxury holiday. Equipped with the latest technology, whilst still honouring the traditional design features of the surrounding area, both of the LV estate chalets have been designed to ‘provide ample space for relaxation and wellness’. Guests will be greeted with individually planned wellness programs, including luxury massages and other spa treatments. Furthermore, the chalets are located in an exclusive village that has been strategically designed at the centre of the local town, ensuring that culture-seeking guests will be able to experience the town’s vibrant social happenings.