Birds of Feather: The Vacation Patterns of Billionaires


billionaire-vacationsPeople in general tend to align themselves with persons of similar interest while economic class tends to be a major determining factor of how people congregate. This is extremely evident amongst the world’s über-rich and their vacation patterns.

Billionaires are a bit like migratory birds. They soar high above the earth, they often like to flash bright colors, and increasingly they move in large and noisy flocks.

Like a swarm of Gulfstreams, the world’s super rich flit from one velvet-roped gathering and thought conference to the next, with occasional stops at the beach or ski slopes in between.

“They’re like a global tribe or herd,” said David Friedman, president of Wealth-X, the wealth research firm. “The herd migrates to certain places. Sometimes some of them break off and diverge, and then reconverge. But there are the usual suspects in many of these places.”

According to Wealth-X, the billionaire’s social calendar for next year starts in Davos, Switzerland, in January, for the annual gathering of the super rich and powerful known as the World Economic Forum.

After Davos, the billionaire migration goes to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, then to the Dubai World Cup horse racing extravaganza. Then it’s on to the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix in May. As the weather warms up, they will head to Art Basel in Switzerland and the Clinton Global Initiative, before rounding out at the Frieze Art Fair in London in October.

The billionaires’ migration path is also a sign of how the values of the rich have changed. Rather than pursuing leisure as their main objective, today’s workaholic wealthy are foraging the planet for self-improvement and the best ideas—whether it’s at conferences or auctions, or elite sporting events and philanthropy workshops.

With only a few Black billionaires, the real question is how do we get enough super rich Black people to form their own elite club and vacation patterns?

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