The majority of high-net worth Australian travellers are willing to use a Vaccination Passport in order to travel abroad, but are understandably not as keen on a quarantine stay in order to do so, a new study by Altiant has confirmed.
According to the survey on COVID-19 travel protocols taken last month from 500 wealthy travellers across Asia Pacific, more than three-quarters are willing to carry a vaccination passport. The same ratio of those polled said they were willing to carry a connected device with them at all times to receive vaccine alerts and updates.
Altiant shared their research this week with delegates of the ILTM APAC Virtual show. Those surveyed came from six APAC countries – Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
In addition to COVID-19 protocols, the survey sought feedback on what luxury travel looks like since the onset of COVID-19, where wealthy travellers in the region are going, what activities they are doing, and which type of holidays are now more appealing to them.
Altiant found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that less than half of all those surveyed said they would be willing to observe a short duration quarantine period on arrival in a country, or take COVID tests every 48 hours.
“Those are pretty significant and even intrusive measures that we see that the wealthy traveller is willing to take on these new levels…if it means returning to a certain level of normalcy and getting travel back in full security,” said Meryam Schneider, VP Marketing and Partnerships of luxury market research company, Altiant.
While South Korean (66%) and Chinese (54%) travellers are the most willing to observe short quarantine measures, Australians and Singaporeans are least likely, at 34% and 33% respectively.
Aussies were the least willing to have COVID-19 tests every two days, with just over one-third (35%) willing to be tested – four percentage points behind South Koreans who were next (at 39%).
“Interestingly Australians are amongst those who are unlikely to be receptive to both these measures and with the protocols very likely to remain for a certain time, we can see that Australians might be slower to return to international travel, and instead enjoy regional travel,” Schneider said.
New holiday experiences
Altiant found that since the pandemic many wealthy APAC travellers had discovered new holiday options that are safe and they are willing to return to in the next year, particularly so from the Chinese and Hong Kong markets.
“Many travellers have taken the opportunity to discover travel online or other activities with lockdown and restricted movements,” Schneider said.
Although virtual, one-third had discovered fitness and meditation classes since the beginning of the pandemic.
“This is a trend that we have seen growing pre COVID-19, but it definitely intensified during the pandemic. And also, almost 25% have taken care of their mental wellbeing, through virtual sessions as well.”
Nearly 40% of Australians said they had found new holiday venues which they intend to revisit in the future, and the same number said they had located a new holiday option in their area.
Schneider said virtual tours pave the way for more renewable tourism opportunities in the future, with travel agents potentially able to generate new bookings for new experiences online, via wellness sessions and virtual activities.
Separate Altiant research of 200 APAC buyers found that one-third had witnessed a change in the age profile of the booker, with 59% believing the 25-49 year old market is the most likely age group to travel first, followed by the 50-64 year old segment.
Family and Beach holidays are predicted to become particularly popular in the immediate future, Schneider said, with over 40% of wealthy Asia Pacific travellers expecting to take more of these styles of holidays post pandemic. Rural and Countryside holidays also ranked highly, while there is still interest in City Breaks too, once there is a greater return to normality.
Travel advisor revenue opportunities
“Many of the wealthy travellers are prepared to pay more for extra features that combined work and leisure, with 44% willing to spend 20 percent and more for such offering,” Schneider said.
“Many professionals, like all of us, have been combining working from home with personal responsibilities and family responsibilities. So unsurprisingly, this is becoming a key requirement, and could actually become a new star feature for future travel itineraries from travel agents.”
She said personalised itineraries and new experiences may also justify an incremental fee.
“51% are eager to pay for personalised itineraries, for example itineraries that include continuous updates on health and safety issues in a given country. And two-thirds are willing to spend more than 20% extra for experiential activities or holidays.”
“This is positive news for travel agents who can build additional fees for a more comprehensive service for their clients,” Schneider said.
ILTM Asia Pacific Virtual ran from 20-22 July 2021.