Impact of COVID-19 on UHNWI's travel and lifestyle habits 2020

Posted April 30, 2020 in Lifestyle by Janine St.Denis

*Press embargo until July 15, 2020

Marketers who count Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) consumers among their customer targets need to dramatically rethink operations and marketing strategies if they expect them to come back before the COVID-19 coronavirus has been mitigated.

That is a key takeaway from twin surveys of Northrop & Johnson customers and brokers conducted during May 2020. The leading yacht broker found that while interest in vacations at sea is ticking up, many of its UHNW customers plan to pull back on other activities that could bring them in contact with large groups of people, from meetings and conventions to sporting events, dining out, shopping malls, and even smaller luxury boutiques.

While small in number (Knight Frank pegs the worldwide population of UHNWIs at just over 500,000*), in each case, the purchasing power of these individuals and the businesses they control can have a big impact on industries where they have patronage, in some cases even causing seismic shifts.

As one example, the largest trade fair in the world for watches and jewelry, Baselworld, has been forced to cancel all future shows, drop its name, and may even move the venue if it relaunches at all. This came after it mishandled the COVID-19-related cancelation of this year’s event and several privately held companies decided to pull out and start a new show.**

By the same token, Embark Beyond, a high-end travel advisory, is thriving. As typical vacation travel bookings evaporated, they have reinvented their business, arranging private summer camps for clients both at luxury ranches and even in their own homes.

In addition to in-depth information on preferences and trends in yacht charters, the survey contains data on lifestyle interests, from collecting cars, art and wines, to fashion, watches, jewelry and sports, including team ownership.

Our report also highlights leaders from across luxury and business and how they are adapting to serve customers with confidence in these challenging times. The data covers everything from social media usage by this UHNW audience, to countless insights that will be of broad interest to those who track trends and preferences of the affluent and the companies and individuals that count them as customers.

We think you will find a literal treasure trove of insights. As you will note, this report is marked Volume 1, Issue 1, so through the generosity of both our customers, brokers, and partners, we look forward to being in touch in the future.

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