While economists and analysts are forecasting a recession and potential job losses coming to Wall Street, companies selling luxury and experiential travel have yet to see a limit to how high they can drive prices.
Disney’s trip around the world by private jet for $109.995 per person sold out just days after it was announced last month.
Virtuoso, a network of more than 20,000 travel advisors, said earlier today that it had signed a deal with Virgin Galactic to offer customers of its travel agents a limited number of the remaining first 1,000 seats.
The Richard Branson Company promises passengers “weightlessness, breathtaking views of the Earth and a life-changing transformation through our unique and innovative spaceflight system, all in unparalleled comfort.”
The 90-minute flights cost $450,000 per seat. Reservations, which opened in February, involve a $150,000 deposit.
“As a future astronaut, I can speak firsthand about the curated, high-touch and unique journey Virgin Galactic provides, as well as the community it cultivates. Travel transforms us and pushes us out of our comfort zone. For our advisors who have clients who seeking groundbreaking, transformational travel, a Virgin Galactic spaceflight is the ultimate experience,” said Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch.
Today, TCS World Travel also said it is expanding its selection of private jet routes for 2023. Seven of the nine trips are priced over $250,000 per pair and all come in the six figures.
According to a press release, it is “the largest number of TCS group jet expeditions added in a single year in the company’s history.”
“The pent-up demand for travel is like nothing we’ve seen before. In 2023 alone, we have added five departure dates for our Around the World itinerary and eight other unique journeys,” said Shelley Cline, President, TCS World Travel.
For about $300,000, guests at Wonders of the South Pacific “will marvel at the rugged beauty of Queenstown and Australia’s remote Wolgan Valley, escape to idyllic Polynesian islands, explore prime wine regions, sample Sydney and Christchurch’s many offerings and bucket- list of destinations such as Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.”
If you’re on a budget, a seven-day Thanksgiving sun and seascape trip to Costa Rica and St. Kitts costs just $54,590 per person. Kids travel for $49,950.
It’s not just space travel and private jets that are driving prices up. According to Luxury travel magazine, it found the starting price for at least 10 in-demand five-star resorts over $4,000 per night for their entry-level accommodations. At Amangiri in Utah, the cheapest room this summer is $4,913. On the North Island in Seychelles, where a minimum stay of four nights is required, rates start at $6,851 per night.
And if you just want to book a private jet flight, that’s more expensive too. The average hourly rate at the end of the second quarter was up 6% from the first quarter and is now $10,770. That is 28% higher than at the end of 2020.
When asked if a price cut is in sight, Michael Holtz, CEO of SmartFlyer, an agency in the Virtuoso network, says, “There’s definitely plenty of demand!”