Travel Agents

What affluent travellers want

Hannah Edensor

The Visa Affluent Study for 2015 has looked into Asia Pacific’s well-heeled families to find out what the richest travellers look for when they travel.

Tourists from eight affluent markets, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, were quizzed on their travel habits and what is likely to draw the credit card out of their wallet.

As it turns out, things that show “a sense of status, exclusivity and uniqueness” are key considerations when shopping for luxury items for Asia Pacific’s elite, according to the Visa Affluent Study 2015.

Most preferred upscale hotels to mid-scale ones, per eTN reports, although boutique hotels were also popular among respondents from Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Among respondents who chose upscale hotels, they are most likely to be from China (67%), Hong Kong (53%), Singapore and Japan (49% each). For the most discerning, luxury hotels are the choice for those from China (55%), Australia (49%) and Hong Kong (43%).

The main activities when travelling abroad saw 44% of respondents put relaxing on a beach as their top pick, while 36% want shopping in popular or large shopping centres and 35% prefer exploring landmarks independently.

More than a quarter of respondents said they travel to try out popular local restaurants.

visa-affluent-study-2015-holiday-habits-asia-pacific_3
Visa Affluent Survey 2015

Four in five respondents have travelled with their families in the past 12 months and also prefer to spend their holidays within the region, writes Luxury Insider.

Respondents saw Japan (26 %), Hong Kong (25 %) and Australia (21 %) as the most popular destinations over the past 12 months, and throughout the same study period, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and India proved to have the most affluent travellers of all, taking up to three trips in total.

The affluent from Hong Kong (46%) and Japan (43%) are the most likely to explore landmarks independently, while those from Japan (32%), China (31%) and Singapore (29%) are most likely to have followed the food trail to local restaurants.

Visa’s vice president of products for Asia Pacific Ruben Salazar said these trips have become status symbols for affluent travellers.

“What drives Asia Pacific’s affluent in making luxury purchase decisions varies across the region, but the common factor is the search for unique products and services that give a sense of status and exclusivity,” he said.

“While quality remains important for most consumers, Asia Pacific’s affluent are continuously looking to go beyond quality guarantee to find that special product or experience that stands out from the crowd and that gives a sense of self-satisfaction.”

Some 500 respondents from each of Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea were interviewed online and in face-to-face surveys for the study. Respondents have an average household income of US$73,000 per annum and are aged between 18 and 55 years old.

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