According to a new consumer study from American Express, the travel market is going to remain soft for the near future, with hotels and airlines competing hard for a smaller population of vacationers.

Among the general population, the greatest number of consumers said their top priority expenses one year ago were vacations (25%) and dining out (24%). Today, only 7% named vacations as a high priority and dining was named as a high priority for only 8%. Those 7% who still have vacations as a high priority are definitely in the driver’s seat when it comes to getting the most for their budget.

The real takeaway in the report for travel marketers? Go after the young professionals and the affluent. (The typical Luxury Latin America readers, of course.)

“When young professionals who plan to spend more were asked what they would be spending it on, two thirds said clothing (65%), and more than half said dining out (54%) and travel (53%). The affluent who expect to spend more said it would be on travel (56%), dining out (47%) and clothes (43%)”

According to this survey that came out in August, many consumers still haven’t gotten the message that this is a historically great time for travel deals. You know better, so check out our luxury hotels in Latin America then start wheeling and dealing.