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Elite Traveler – ET Insider – September 29, 2009

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ET Insider – September 29, 2009

Elite Traveler Insider –

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September 29, 2009

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.

IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Hello China, Hello Private Jets…

2. Capturing Consumers on the Web: What We’ve Learned

3. The Circulation Statement That Changed Media Buying

4. A Golden Opportunity in Vancouver: Your Chance to be a Winner!

5. The Biggest Loser: Which Publications Fell The Most in the Coveted $1 Million HHI Category?

Over 90 percent of today’s Super Rich are Self Made and over 80 percent of the Super Rich have made their fortune in the past 10 years. Now is the best time to make sure they know your brand. 86% believe Elite Traveler is a good showcase for luxury products.

1. Hello China, Hello Private Jets…

So why is the Asia sales guy for that private jet company smiling? Let us explain. The world just changed. Numerous reports say China has relaxed applications for private flight plans from six days to just three hours, a move that will likely lead to a boom in the private jet travel business.

The decision means it is now possible for a Chinese registered Airbus A318 elite or Gulfstream 200 to file a flight plan with the mainland aviation authorities three to six hours prior to take off as opposed to the three-to six-day lead time previously required. The three-to six-day requirement will still apply for foreign aircraft.

Greater China may now be poised to take lead in a market dominated by the Middle East and previously suppressed in the country because of political and military reasons. Airbus is also set to establish an outfitting center in the mainland to allow Chinese customers to choose their preferred cabin decorations.

It is becoming less expensive to fly domestically registered jets. Flight plans used to cost US$4,400 to file but the fee will now be waived for domestically registered crafts. They will also implement lower navigating and parking fees for domestic registered aircraft.

According to reports, Beijing is encouraging the ownership and use of private jets by cutting duties and taxes on the purchase from 23 percent to 6 percent in 2010.

Only Elite Traveler can guarantee you that your ad dollars are reaching wealthy consumers who are still spending. What do we mean? Our new June 2009 BPA Circulation statement breaks out where our magazine goes – 71 percent of our copies to private jets and private jet terminals, 14 percent to First Class lounges, 3 percent go to Sport Locker Room/Training Facilities and Yachts, etc. This means you know that your dollars are getting to consumers who are still traveling in style, and still spending money – not sitting home worried about the economy. It is a guarantee that your critical advertising dollars are reaching a lucrative target. It is a guarantee no other publisher can provide.

2. Capturing Consumers on the Web: What We’ve Learned

Al Gore may have invented the Internet, but with all due respect, we think Elitetraveler.com has taken the web to a new level at least as far as luxury marketers are concerned.

I have to admit we were late to the game – we only launched our consumer site at the beginning of 2008. But then the truth was we really didn’t know what to do, so we figured, why spend your money until we had a bit of a clue. The clue, as I have said before, came in that we were getting frequent calls from readers who had seen something in a previous issue – a hotel suite in a city they were going to the next week or a great piece of jewelry. The problem was that it was several issues back, they were on their private jet somewhere and no longer had the issue. Well, we were keeping our interns busy finding back issues and we did a good job supporting FedEx by overnighting copies to Dubai, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Recife and lots of places you might not be able to spell off the top of your head.

Our insight was to use our website as a home where we could update and archive all the great stories – Top Suites of Los Angeles, London, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, 14 Days in Spain and Portugal, etc. as well as catalogue all the great jewelry designers, watch makers, spas, real estate developments and so on and so forth. We created Elitetraveler.com around the Elite Recommends Guides, easy to use PDFs of all of the above, they were easy to print and, looking either on the web or via color printer, the reproduction was at a level we thought our readers wanted.

The idea was that now a reader from Palm Beach who is in London but next week will be in Hong Kong can look at Elitetraveler.com and easily find our editorial team’s recommendations for top suites of Hong Kong. Same for the reader who wants to do some watch shopping – they can take a look at our 200+ pages of top watch brands, likewise for jewelry as well as for men’s fashion and accessories.

Most interestingly, 82 percent of readers at Elitetraveler.com are readers of Elite Traveler, meaning unlike generic web sites, Elitetraveler.com delivers the same Ultra Affluent readership of the magazine, mainly private jet owners and travelers.

In the first half of 2009, unique visitors to the site has doubled to over 20,000 per month, and to my earlier point about coming to the site for a reason – to look for a hotel in a specific city, to shop for jewelry – approximately 50 percent of visitors download an Elite Recommends guide!

Recently we asked some of our Elitetraveler.com readers who had downloaded one of our Top Suites guides about how they used them, and actions they took as a result. Here’s a brief summary:

  • 73% of readers were planning to visit the Top Suites in Destination (Paris, London, New York, Hong Kong, etc.) Guide they downloaded
  • 40% planned to visit the destination in the next six months
  • 18% planned to visit in the next 60 days
  • 84% said they found a hotel, resort or spa they might want to book
  • 72% traveling in the next 60 days booked a specific hotel, resort or spa as a result of the Elite Traveler.com guide they downloaded.

Overall, 16 % of users booked a specific property based on an Elite Recommends guide.

For hotels, resorts, spas, jewelry companies, watch makers, fashion brands and so forth, many of you are already included editorially, but for a great marketing program, we can create additional coverage of your company providing readers more reasons to visit and buy. We then back it up with an integrated program promoting your company in both the print edition of Elite Traveler and via our worldwide e-mail database of private jet owners and travelers, and of course our weekly e-Newsletter Elite Traveler Update that reaches some 15,000 private jet travelers in over 100 countries.

So if you are looking for a great way to generate more interest in whatever you are doing, take a look at Elitetraveler.com.

While the world’s economy today is unsteady, one thing is for sure: The wealthy consumers flying aboard private jets are your best bet, and only Elite Traveler delivers these elite travelers to our advertisers through our BPA audited circulation aboard private jets in over 100 countries, including Russia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, India, Singapore, Korea and China. All with one ad buy!

3. The Circulation Statement That Changed Media Buying

I am a big consumer of research, not just because I have a lot of time on my hands when I am flying, but I always find it interesting as a way to get directional insights, although I am always hesitant to bet the farm on numbers which generally represent a very small percentage of the universe to which they are being applied.

From my perspective, that makes publication audit statements even more important. Firstly, if I were a Media Buyer I wouldn’t spend a single dollar in any publication that is not audited by BPA or ABC, the two main audit bureaus. The cost of an audit is less than $10,000 per year so one has to really question the validity of any claims from a publisher not willing to have his or her circulation audited and verified.

But while Audit Statements will tell you how many copies are printed and what states or countries they are distributed to, that is where it all fell short, until now.

As discussed last week, we at Elite Traveler acknowledge you are under more pressure than ever to make sure your media dollars are being spent against consumers who actually have the financial wherewithal to buy your products, hopefully in a significant way.

That is why effective with our June 2009 BPA Circulation Statement you will now find the chart below showing you the exact percentage of where copies of Elite Traveler are distributed.

No other publisher is giving you this level of data, and in fact they really can’t. They just haven’t been gathering it, so I am quite proud about this innovation and the fact that while others can talk about research based on a very small percentage of the actual target, Elite Traveler has an audit statement to back up our notion that we are a good place for you to invest!

For a copy of the full statement, click here.

Only Elite Traveler can guarantee you that your ad dollars are reaching wealthy consumers who are still spending. What do we mean? Our new June 2009 BPA Circulation statement breaks out where our magazine goes – 71 percent of our copies to private jets and private jet terminals, 14 percent to First Class lounges, 3 percent go to Sport Locker Room/Training Facilities and Yachts, etc. This means you know that your dollars are getting to consumers who are still traveling in style, and still spending money – not sitting home worried about the economy. It is a guarantee that your critical advertising dollars are reaching a lucrative target. It is a guarantee no other publisher can provide.

4. A Golden Opportunity in Vancouver: Your Chance to be a Winner!

Well, first of all, I am sure you are a winner regardless. However, I am delighted that to announce that Elite Traveler, along with Million Air, will host a special VIP experience for an estimated 10,000 affluent consumers who will arrive and depart Vancouver by private jet for the Winter Games this coming February 11th to March 1st.

To accommodate the high volume of high-end consumers we are converting a hangar into a beautiful luxury lounge for arriving and departing passengers. There are limited sponsorships available and be it branding or selling, we can accommodate virtually any needs.

The event provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to generate 1-on-1 relationships with these desirable and engaged consumers when they are in a particularly celebratory mood!

Please click here for our e-flip book presentation.

While the world’s economy today is unsteady, one thing is for sure: The wealthy consumers flying aboard private jets are your best bet, and only Elite Traveler delivers these elite travelers to our advertisers through our BPA audited circulation aboard private jets in over 100 countries, including Russia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, India, Singapore, Korea and China. All with one ad buy!

5. The Biggest Loser: Which Publications Fell The Most in the Coveted $1 Million HHI Category?

In the American reality television program, contestants battle to lose weight (I am thinking of applying). However, one place where most publications don’t want to lose is their readership in the highly coveted category of consumers who make at least $1 million in Household Income annually.

After all, these are the consumers in these difficult times who are most likely to have the discretionary income to keep spending. Earlier this month, Ipsos Mendolsohn released their 2009 Survey of Affluent Consumers (consumers need to have a Household Income of at least $100,000 to participate). The survey is probably the best research out there for marketers who are interested in consumer Households between $100,000 and $400,000 Household Income, a segment I describe as the Mass Affluent.

The data going up the ladder is often unstable due to a small sample size (it is one of the reasons we engage Prince & Associates for our own research); however, the top line data for publication readership at the $1 million + Household Income is still reliable according to the researchers.

The 2009 Survey was conducted in the first half of 2009 so the results in terms of spending and Household Income in particular reflect 2008 which was in all probability a better earnings year than 2009 will be (we will have to wait until September 2010 to find out what happened in 2009).

There are two categories I think are particularly relevant for luxury marketers. One is the Households that make $400,000 to $999,999. This tends to be the low end of Elite Traveler’s readership; however, in the right circumstances these consumers can be good customers for luxury providers. According to Ipsos Mendelsohn this segment of the population shrunk by roughly 10 percent from 1.484 million households in the U.S. in 2008 to 1.342 million households in the just released 2009 survey. It clearly shows that the layer on top of the Mass Affluent has been damaged and closely matches research I often look at from Pam Danziger’s Unity Marketing and Ron Kurtz’s The American Affluent Research Center.

In something a bit striking, according to Ipsos Mendelsohn, the number of Households earning $1 million + per year however actually increased from 487,000 to 492,000. However, most publishers of Mass Affluent magazines are probably disappointed, as their readership in that segment dropped, in many cases substantially:

On a percentage basis, two of the biggest drops came from Conde Nast’s men’s titles GQ and Details, which both have few Million Dollar Plus readers to begin with. In this category, Details plunged from 9,000 readers to 3,000, a 67 percent drop, while GQ saw its ultra-affluent readership cut in half to 12,000 from 24,000. We’ve reported extensively here about American Express pulling back the charge card limits on its cardholders and allocating more reserves for growing defaults. Therefore it probably isn’t very surprising that Departures Magazine, which goes to Platinum and Centurion cardholders, saw its readership in the $1 million + HHI category fall 50 percent from 46,000 to 23,000. Sister publication Travel + Leisure suffered a 40 percent fall from 89,000 readers to 54,000 while arch rival Conde Nast Traveler faired slightly better with only a 28 percent drop, but in the end delivered only 40,000 Million Plus Earner Households. Two Hearst titles didn’t fair much better: Town & Country struggled with a 39 percent drop down to just 24,000 million dollar babies, while Harper’s Bazaar now delivers just 14,000 High Earners after a 26 percent drop. Likewise, Robb Report shed 35 percent of its top end readership, watching its Million Dollar Households fall to just 15,000, a historic low.

Over 90 percent of today’s Super Rich are Self Made and over 80 percent of the Super Rich have made their fortune in the past 10 years. Now is the best time to make sure they know your brand. 86% believe Elite Traveler is a good showcase for luxury products.

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