Elite Traveler – ET Insider – October 12, 2006
ET Insider – October 12, 2006
Elite Traveler Insider –
October 12, 2006
Elite Traveler Insider
By Douglas D. Gollan, President and Editor-in-Chief, Elite Traveler Magazine
Welcome to the latest issue of Elite Traveler Insider, the bi-weekly newsletter designed to update our top partners on trends in the private jet lifestyle. This information is provided to offer a better understanding of how to target these globetrotting elite travelers, their impact on your business and other trends that affect you. Remember, private jet travelers are paying up to $10,000 per hour to fly by private jet, so these super rich consumers could be and should be your best customer. We talk about them and how you can get more of them and more from them.
“I’ve had to increase my copies because the magazine goes so fast. I try to keep one for myself when I can. The pictures inside are so breath-taking.” Donna Reed – YYJ-FBO Services, Canada
1. Want Hot Information on The Super Rich and How they Spend?
Looking for one place you can find insightful articles about trends with the Super Rich? If so, I would encourage you to visit www.elitetraveler.com/press. You’ll find stories from around the world about the private jet lifestyle, hot trends and other data that will be helpful in any sales or marketing presentation. A quick read through the dozens of news articles from a variety of leading sources is a must before any luxury brand strategic presentation you may be coordinating.
“I’ve seen a lot of people reading Elite Traveler; they love the magazine they can’t believe our FBO gives it away for free”
– Carol Hammonds – Hammonds Air Service, Houma, LA
2. What Type of Cars Do The Rich Drive?
A recent story in The New York Post looked into the garage, or should I say garages, of former New York Stock Exchange Chief Richard Grasso. Split between his three estates, Mr. Grasso has15 autos. So what does he drive? Two 2006 Land Rovers, a 1997 Land Rover and a 1995 Land Rover, a 2003 Hummer, 2002 and 2003 models from Lexus, a 1999 and 2002 Porsche, 2003 and 2005 models from Mercedes-Benz, a 2005 Chevy Suburban, a 1966 Pontiac and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
“Very beautiful magazine, our CEO’s wife loves it when the new shipments arrive, it’s her favorite magazine” – Ronn Nelson – Northwestern Mutual Air, Operations Milwaukee, WI
3. More Mass Affluent Becoming House Poor…
The Mass Affluent have been a powerful component of the luxury market’s astounding growth over the past decade; however, there are more and more signs that this group (which has a Household Income of $75,000 to $250,000) is becoming increasingly house poor.
Homeowners in every state but one spent more of their incomes on housing costs last year than at the start of the decade, according to data released last Tuesday by the Census Bureau. Those in Alaska spent the same. Nationwide, homeowners spent nearly 21 percent of their pre-tax incomes on housing costs last year, up from just under 19 percent in 1999. Housing analysts blamed surging home prices, higher interest rates and lower incomes for hurting affordability.
“It is now much more difficult for first-time homebuyers to get into the market, and for existing homeowners to trade up,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “This decline in affordability is the catalyst for the current sharp decline in housing activity.”
The housing market has gone soft in many areas, but home prices are still much higher than they were at the start of the decade. Nationwide, median home values jumped 32 percent from 2000 to 2005. Household incomes have not kept up, dropping 2.8 percent during the same period.
“Until incomes catch up, the housing market is going to remain flat,” Zandi said. America’s home ownership rate is at a near-record 68.7 percent
For example, the government says housing costs are excessive if they top 30 percent of household income. Nationally, 34.5 percent of homeowners with a mortgage had housing costs that topped that benchmark in 2005, an increase from 26.7 percent in 1999.
The percentage of homeowners exceeding the benchmark increased in every state but one during the period. In Hawaii, it stayed the same at 39.7 percent. Housing costs are defined as mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and utilities.
“Families want to become homeowners and they are willing to spend more to get there,” said Jeffrey Lubell, executive director for the Center for Housing Policy, which advocates for affordable housing.
“But as they spend more and more, they are taking on mortgages that could put their homeownership at risk,” Lubell said.
Nearly half of California homeowners – 48 percent – spent more than 30 percent of their pre-tax incomes on housing last year. “We really are reaching the outer edge of the envelope of what people can manage,” said Cynthia Kroll, senior regional economist at the University of California at Berkeley.
For luxury marketers, the continuing squeeze on the Mass Affluent means that they can no longer depend on these charge-and-spend buyers to power sales. More and more, marketers will need to sharpen their focus on the Super Rich who can continue to spend despite blips in the economy.
“We place the magazine everywhere in our building and on every one of our planes” Maria Fente — Starlink Aviation, Dorval, QC
4. Singapore Opens VIP Terminal at Changi, Hong Kong is next…
Singapore, which opened its first airport terminal to attract low-fare carriers this year, is also trying to entice wealthy travelers by offering plush sofas, chaperone services, limousine transfers and a spa, according to a recent report in The International Herald Tribune.
Last week at Changi Airport, the city- state opened the JetQuay terminal, the first standalone luxury air terminal in Asia, in a bid to lure well-heeled travelers. The terminal, which features separate check-in counters and dedicated customs and immigration areas, is expected to be profitable in the second year of operation.
“We’re going to focus on Asia,” said Barry Nassberg, director of JetQuay, which won a bid to manage the luxury terminal on a five-year lease. “That’s where we believe that the demand is the greatest.”
The airport, which is facing competition from newer and bigger airports in places like Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Dubai, is providing services to attract more visitors as it seeks to preserve its status as a major air hub.
Located next to Terminal 2 at Changi, the JetQuay terminal occupies a two floor building previously reserved for government officials and diplomats. The complex, which covers 2,000 square meters, or 21,500 square feet, comes equipped with a lounge, individual nap rooms, a business center, massage chairs, a gym and a spa.
Refurbishments for the terminal cost 10 million Singapore dollars, or $6.3 million, and are reserved for the so-called Commercially Important Person, who is either traveling on a commercial flight or on a private jet.
Individual memberships begin at $2,000 while groups of up to five people pay $3,000.
Companies can sign up as many as 10 employees for a corporate membership starting at $5,000. Members are billed separately each time they use certain services.
Economic growth in Asia is spurring demand for luxury travel and private jets. The Asia-Pacific region recorded the biggest jump in the number of millionaires last year, according to a report by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch that was released in June.
The market for business aircraft in the region will grow at least 40 percent in five years, according to a 2005 forecast from Bombardier, the Canadian plane manufacturer.
Worldwide sales of business jets climbed to 750 last year from 591 a year earlier, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, a trade group for business aircraft makers.
The number of corporate aircraft owners in 2005 rose to 15,596 people or companies, using a fleet of 24,965 planes, the association said, citing figures provided by AvData. There are 10,809 operators in the United States, with 16,967 aircraft.
The Airport Authority of Hong Kong said in September that it planned to spend 100 million Hong Kong dollars, or $12.8 million, to build a new hangar for business aircraft that is scheduled to open in 2007.
“I love to see our client’s reaction; they go crazy for the magazine. It inspires us here to make it rich some day” Jennifer Masse — Sun Western Flyers, Bullhead City, AZ
5. Private Jet Interiors – From Practical to Practically Like a Castle…
A recent article from a Middle Eastern interior magazine provided an interesting look at interior design for the private jet market. The architectural space, the piece noted, is inherently tubular and its functionality as a piece of transportation requires the designer to approach the interior in a completely different way to designing other commercial projects. While issues of safety are uppermost in the designer’s mind, the same intrinsic concerns at creating innovative, aesthetically-pleasing environments still exist. Evidence that high design has entered an arena once dominated solely by functionality lies in the recent announcement that bespoke fashion house Versace has united with TAG Group, parent company of TAG Aviation, to offer an exclusive interior design service to the owners of private aircrafts.
Reiner Heim, director of Reiner Heim Designs says, “The trend is to create modern, comfortable and international interiors with a high level of elegance and lifestyle. The use of high-end technology for the cabin systems and high quality materials for the outfitting are constantly being demanded.” The background and nationality of the client dictates the style, as does the intended usage.
Another jet designer notes, “As the aircraft structure dimensionally changes in flight we have to consider how to account for this with the interior panels so no gaps are seen. Even if certain items, like standard lamps, are designed to look freestanding they must be securely bolted in place to avoid movement during take off and landing or in flight. There is a great deal of technical equipment that needs to be integrated in the interior and we have to design furniture to accommodate this as well as providing storage.”
Civil aviation guidelines provide for very specific requirements on the materials that can be used. Even items such as DVD and entertainment systems must be certified for aircrafts. “You can’t just go down to the local electronics store and purchase a CD player for installation.”
Design Q united with Lufthansa Technik to design a VIP interior for an Airbus A319 reflecting the distinctive personality and taste of the client: a ‘power’ couple, both in their thirties with a youthful and stylish outlook but very family-conscious, whose security, privacy and comfort had caused them to reassess the way they traveled as a family.
Design Q used a Personality Map to identify the client’s requirements and as the designs evolved a more detailed concept was defined allowing the team to evaluate the architectural layout in more detail. The entrance leads into the open-plan living area with lounger-style seating offering different configurations for use, based on the Barcelona Chair’s iconic simplistic lines. Opposite, a huge projection screen takes up one side of the cabin wall. On the left of the entrance is a bar, while a central island holding drinks, glasses and communications technology reaches from floor to ceiling. Panels on the upper cabin walls house the ambient lighting which can be controlled using the LHT latest cabin environment technology, but which also hold interchangeable floating panels where artwork can be displayed — a customization which would allow easy updates when required.
The only isolated area of the aircraft is the unique ‘snug’ with cushioned walls and another large projection system, offering games, films, TV and internet access. This space also provides sleeping quarters. Opposite the snug sit three Barcelona chairs providing separate meeting space for more formal activities. Any client of this financial worth and importance would accrue an entourage of some sort, requiring TTL seating, dining and work space with the possibility of sleeping on long or overnight flights. Therefore, Design Q proposed a more unique and social environment far better than the standard TTL seats usually adopted in this area of a VIP aircraft. The timeframe from initial project briefing to the presentation of 3D visuals was under 7 weeks.
“Our clients enjoy reading the magazine cover to cover. They enjoy the high quality and look forward to the Hotel, Spa and Resort issues which are an extra perk” Jeanette Wuisman — Landmark Aviation, Dallas, TXZ
6. The New Jet Set Gets Worldwide Media Exposure…
The New Jet Set, a white paper by Prince & Associates featuring 661 personal interviews with private jet owners, is receiving worldwide media exposure. Among the outlets that have covered this groundbreaking research are The Wall Street Journal Radio, ABC News, CNBC, Women’s Wear Daily, Marketing Sherpa, The Orange County Register, CBS Marketwatch and Yahoo News, with more stories expected to be published in coming weeks.
Highlighted is a spending breakdown by these Super Rich private jet owners across 14 luxury categories. A quick glance at the spending habits of this segment show that they are a target that any marketer would want as core customers:
Annual Spending per Luxury Category:
Home Improvement – $542,000 Yacht Rentals – $404,000 Jewelry – $248,000 Luxury Cars – $226,000 Events at Hotels/Resorts – $224,000 Villa Rentals – $168,000 Hotels/Resorts for Personal Stays – $157,000 Watches – $147,000 Cruises – $138,000 Fashion & Accessories – $117,000 Spas – $107,000 Experiential Travel – $98,000 Wine/Spirits – $29,000
A complete copy of The New Jet Set is available in PDF format at www.elitetraveler.com/research.html
7. 2007 Editorial Calendar and Media Kit On-Line…
The 2007 Elite Traveler Media Kit and Editorial Calendar are available on-line, at www.elitetraveler.com. Also, make sure to enter to Win 5 Hours of Private Jet Travel for you and 5 Friends. It takes about 10 minutes and can be done entirely on-line at www.elitetraveler.com/contest. Good luck!