Australia the destination of choice for HNW APAC travellers

New Marriott International study identifies three personas of luxury traveller

The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne

As the Asia Pacific region continues to be the growth engine for luxury travel, a new report from the Luxury Group by Marriott International has identified new expectations and travel preferences among high-net-worth (HNW) travellers in Asia Pacific.

Across the region, 68% are planning to spend more on travel over the next 12 months – 89% among Indians – with 74% planning to travel within Asia Pacific and 88% prioritising gastronomy as the reason to travel. One in four of all holidays planned (25%) are celebrations.

The report found three distinct new groups of luxury traveller have emerged – the ‘Venture Travelist’ who seeks business opportunities when travelling, ‘Experience Connoisseur’ Millennials who are travelling for enrichment and ‘Timeless Adventurer’, over 65s who are building their own itineraries and exploring places before they become popular.

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“Our New Luxe Landscapes Report provides deeper behaviour insights and motivations into elite travellers from Asia and the Pacific,” says Oriol Montal, Managing Director, Luxury, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International.

“Whether it’s discovering new culinary experiences, travelling with their family or friends, or looking to forge connections with the local community, our research has identified new traveller archetypes, and provides Marriott International with new understandings in catering to this discerning traveller segment.”

Deeper Extended Experiences With Their People

The research among HNW travellers in Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and India reveals they are traveling frequently with longer holidays especially across the Asia Pacific region. An average of six leisure trips are planned within the next 12 months while 33% of respondents are planning at least seven holidays this year.

On average, a short stay comprises three nights while a long stay is two-and-a-half weeks. For many, the kinship and connection within a group enhances the richness of the travel experience, with over 70% choosing to travel with family or friends.

Australia is the destination of choice (46%), above Japan (42%) and Hong Kong, China (27%). Sixty-nine percent of India’s HNW tourists are planning a trip to Australia and it is the top destination of choice for Indonesian, Japanese and Singaporean travellers.

Australia was also named the destination people are most looking forward to visiting in the next year with 24% ranking it as their most-anticipated trip.

Additionally, Australians are the most likely to holiday longer. With Aussies entitled to a minimum of four weeks annual leave,  73% are planning a minimum two-week getaway and 33% taking over three weeks. Similarly, a third of Indonesians expect their trips will extend beyond three weeks.

The HNW traveller from the APAC region is prioritising feeling Safe and Secure when travelling

Increasing Demand in India

The most active and engaged travel market, 89% of Indian HNW say they are planning to spend more on travel. Families and friends are touring together to mark key milestones, attend a private function or event, with 38% planning a trip with friends and 33% making theirs a celebratory trip.

A Fascination for Food

Nearly 9 out of 10 people (88%) are picking their holiday destination based on discovering a new food or culinary experience. Acutely aware of dining trends, almost half of the respondents (49%) describe a fine dining experience as an ideal night out. Reinforcing this point, 83% will choose a destination to visit an award-winning restaurant and 35% agreed they would spend more on unique culinary experiences. When choosing a hotel, 81% of HNW travellers make their selection based on fine dining options and 83% choose a destination so they can visit a celebrated restaurant.

Of the six markets, Australian travellers were the least likely to be swayed by new food or culinary experience in their choice of destination, at only 27% saying it would influence their choice, half that of the Indian market (55%).

Marriott luxury study pinpoints the type of holidays the APAC market are taking

New Traveler Personas

With more disposable income for holidays and a growing population of ageing travellers, the research has identified three new categories of affluent travellers. These include:

The ‘Venture Travelist’
The next-generation Bleisure tourist, the Venture Travelist prioritises holiday destinations that will generate business opportunities. While they enjoy their vacation with their family and loved ones, they are always on the lookout to secure a deal. Entrepreneurs at heart, they explore a location, shopping for local products and antiques, and looking to forge business connections with members from the local community.

The ‘Experience Connoisseur’
Predominantly millennials, Experience Connoisseurs plan their leisure travel as an opportunity for personal enrichment. They travel extensively and see the experience as an investment in their mental and physical wellbeing. They want to deeply explore a destination, they value personalization and actively seek exclusive one-of-a-kind experiences.

The ‘Timeless Adventurer’
Debunking every stereotype of the over-65 ‘silver set travellers’, Timeless Adventurers are keen explorers who want to immerse themselves in a destination. They’re less interested in tourist attractions and more drawn to what gives the destination a sense of place, what makes it unique and memorable.

Marriott's 'Venture Travelists' want to travel to Australia as a priority, and Tokyo as the top city, intriguingly followed by Canberra...

Other interesting facts gathered from the survey found:

Top mark of a luxury holiday is discovering a new destination, with 78% regarding it as important or very important.

Most valued luxury experience is an immersive and refined sense of space, with 80% defining luxury travel as being surrounded by refined craftsmanship and exquisite design.

Most important factor in a luxury experience is a sense of security. Most respondents (91%) say a safe environment is more important than exceptional service (41%), engaging in an exclusive experience (36%) or having a truly personalised experience (33%).

View the full report here.

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