Adding further weight to several pieces of research commissioned by ILTM Asia Pacific, the behaviour of the Asian millionaire traveller – their motivations, media channels, brand preferences and consumption patterns – were the focus of a seminar presentation to both exhibitors and buyers presented during ILTM’s annual event in Singapore this week
Having interviewed 903 millionaires across China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, Agility Research & Strategy defined millionaires as those whose net worth was greater than $US1m.
Key takeaways from the study include:
- 2019 will be another year of strong growth for the luxury travel segment. Particularly encouraging is the willingness to travel among Chinese and Indian millionaires, especially given the number of high-net-worth individuals residing in both countries. Japanese millionaires, on the other hand, are reluctant to travel internationally, a trend that persists despite a stabilising economy and increased inbound flow of tourism.
- The research indicates that millionaires’ reasons to travel are shifting from status and recognition to personal growth and better quality of life. Increasingly, business trips include a mix of business and leisure. Millionaires plan their trips with the whole family to spend quality time with children and to share their experiences together.
- There is increased awareness that luxury travel is more than luxury accommodation and transportation. Experience-seeking has become a true motivation to travel. Food experiences remain high on the millionaire’s travel bucket-list, starting with a varied breakfast at the hotel, continuing with a local, authentic and safe lunch to sample the local cuisine and ending with fine dining at a Michelin-rated restaurant. The need for authenticity drives the choice of where to travel: Japan remains a very attractive destination for Asian millionaires because it is seen as safe, diversified and authentic.
- Shopping, which until a few years ago was cited as the top reason to travel across all 6 markets covered by the study, is becoming less relevant. Asian millionaires’ interests are becoming more sophisticated: city tours, diving, beach, food, amusement parks, spas and hot springs are some of the most mentioned reasons to travel. We expect to see in the next few years an increase of interest in art & cultural travel, on the tail of the opening of major museums and cultural institutions throughout the region.
- Online and digital resources are gaining traction as a channel to search for information and a way to research and book travel. At the same time, traditional channels such as a recommendation from friends and family, as well as TV and magazines are still very relevant in shaping and influencing the travel decisions of millionaires.
- Over 85% of millionaires surveyed in China consider a hotel’s eco-friendliness important.
Alison Gilmore, Portfolio Director ILTM & Lifestyle Portfolios, commented: “The presentations we lined up for ILTM Asia Pacific have focused on three key subject matters, and this one analyses the upcoming trends of the luxury traveller in the region. With more than 6m millionaires in the APAC region – a double-digit growth in 2018 – this is a powerhouse market which continues to grow with sustained optimism. However, at the same time, we can also see that their travel habits are changing. As a leader in the luxury travel sector, we will continue to support every one of our events with information, trends and facts from thought leaders in this sector to help all our participants [obtain] the knowledge that will drive their business objectives through the next decade.”