Asian millionaires favour food, culture over shopping, ILTM study finds

With trend towards in-depth destination experiences, arts and culture will increasingly feature on Asian millionaire's itineraries; Quechua sitting on ancient Inca wall, Peru

This year is likely to be another year of strong growth for the region’s luxury travel market, with particularly high willingness to travel manifested by Chinese and Indian millionaires, according to research commissioned by ILTM Asia Pacific.

Japanese millionaires, on the other hand, remain reluctant to travel internationally, a trend that persists despite a stabilising economy and increased inbound touristic flows.

With trend towards in-depth destination experiences, arts and culture will increasingly feature on Asian millionaire’s itineraries; Quechua sitting on ancient Inca wall, Peru

Having interviewed 903 millionaires across China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, Agility Research & Strategy looked at the travel trends among millionaires.

Among other findings, the research revealed that shopping, which until a few years ago was cited as the top reason to travel across all six 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. The next few years is likely to see them displaying a greater interest in art & cultural travel, on the tail of the opening of major museums and cultural institutions throughout the region.

Millionaires’ reasons to travel are also shifting from status and recognition to personal growth and quality of life. Increasingly, business trips become a mix of business and leisure, and millionaires plan their trips with the whole family, to spend quality time together.

There is increased awareness that luxury travel is more than about accommodation and transportation. Food experiences remain high on the millionaires travel bucket-list, starting from 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.

Meanwhile, Japan remains “a very attractive destination for Asian millionaires”, thanks to its image as a safe and diversified destination rife with opportunities for authentic local experiences.

Online and digital is gaining traction both as a channel to search for information and as way to research and book travel. At the same time, traditional channels such as recommendation from friends and family, TV and magazines still hold considerable sway over millionaires travel decisions.

In China, over 85% of millionaires surveyed take into consideration a hotel’s eco-friendliness.

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