Tired of sifting through predictions, buzz and counter claims, ILTM commissioned its own proprietary research from the affluent research specialist, Altiant to get to the reality of the luxury travel consumer’s mindset in September 2022.
It’s been a long two and a half years, and whilst we expect the consequences of the pandemic to be felt for some time yet, there is room for genuine optimism for luxury travel brands around the world with APAC wealthy travellers.
Our findings show that many affluent individuals are looking to make up for lost time and resume travelling in style with a staggering half planning to spend more on holidays than pre-Covid trips.
And these welcome findings extend to agents with 92% saying they will be using them to book luxury trips in 2023, the extra layer of bureaucracy and relieving the stress make agents more important than ever.
Launching the dedicated research about the region at ILTM Asia Pacific on September 5th, entitled “Decoding the luxury travel consumer mindset”, Alison Gilmore portfolio director ILTM said, “The pandemic has had a fundamental impact on traveller behaviour with some trends accelerating, some slowing down and others stabilising. The research surveyed almost 500 validated wealthy APAC travellers from 6 countries, a reliable barometer of luxury sentiment and habits in 2022”.
Here’s a flavour of the key findings from the report which you can download here:
What behaviour is staying
Flying less often, but staying for longer
Travelling with family and multi-generational trips
Slow, recuperative travel
Experiences over goods
Health & safety concerns
Wellness as a key driver in travel planning
What behaviour is growing
Revenge travel, making up for lost time
Rising confidence and ready to mix again, pointing to a return to a more social way of travelling.
Interest in sustainable, eco friendly trips with building back better after COVID is now resonating with many wealthy travellers
Planning well in advance rather than last minute
Travel agents becoming more important in holiday planning
What behaviour is slowing
Privacy & seclusion as the only travel choices
Superficial jumping from one place to another
Local or regional trips only
More active and high intensity breaks
Familiar locations, where travelled before
We see how the pandemic has accelerated trends well under way into mainstream expectations: health & wellness and sustainability being the key ones.
For hotels, minimising water usage and eliminating single-use plastics are now the very least many travellers expect. Instead, strategies such as using renewable energy, growing food on-site and partnering with local conservation organisations will be enthusiastically received.
Most encouraging findings come from China, the future engine of the world’s luxury travel market.
Chinese travellers’ demand for mental wellness trips (+16 percentage points), Singaporeans’ desire for cultural trips (+18 points) and the Japanese desire for more activity and beach holidays (+15 points).
Chinese travellers expect to spend more in the year ahead, and they are also notably more likely than average to be planning celebratory trips such as milestone birthdays (70% vs 45% overall), more extravagant trips (59% vs 37%) and more travel in general to make up for lost time (56% vs 44%).
And the demand for mental wellness trips is also up a strong 16 percentage points for Chinese travellers.
They are also strongly guided by sustainability and environmental protection. 81% are planning to take more sustainable/ eco-friendly holidays in the future.
Good news for agents
There is a growing preference for planning holidays well in advance something which ideally suits the expertise of the travel agents. And the fact that two-thirds (65%) say that an agent will be influential when booking holidays over the next 12 months, 86% plan to use them the same or more since the start of the pandemic underlines their enduring importance.
As we move towards the biggest ILTM Cannes ever in December 2022, we will be unveiling the 2nd edition of the global report on the luxury traveller’s mindset. Comparing and contrasting behaviour across APAC to key markets in Europe to Americas, this is hotly anticipated as the industry grapples for certainty and consistency going forward.