The Asian Millionaire Traveller in 2018

According to the latest Affluent Insights™ into Asia, travel remains a key focus for Asian millionaires. Agility’s study looks at this group’s preferences and how much it spends on travel versus other luxury categories.

Air travel has never been more accessible or cost effective as it is today. Each year, in this ever-increasing shrinking planet, a new crop of destinations become suddenly “must see”. Old means of transportation are rediscovered (like fluvial cruises, to visit quaint and picturesque river cities), others are invented (space travel). Hotels outdo themselves to offer luxury, while AirBnB offers access to authentic experiences in destinations previously untouched by mass tourism. We are inundated with advice on where to travel to, but we often hear little of why and how we should do so.

While travel becomes increasingly polarized around two types of experiences (mass market tourism, hurried, busy, crammed, with barely enough time to see and exclusive travel, for those who will have access to more bespoke levels of service and experience), travel remains a key focus for Asian millionaires, with over 70% in most markets confirming their intention to travel more for leisure in the next 12 months (with Japan as the most favored destination), and with over 50% of all respondents confirming that they routinely spend more on travel than on any other luxury goods category.

In our recent research, we asked Asian Millionaires how much they spend on travel versus other luxury categories, what motivates them to travel, what they enjoy and what they don’t. The following newsletter is a short extract of the full report.


Travel Remains Top of Mind for Millionaires

Travel accounts for the lion’s share of spending on discretionary goods and services in most Asia Pacific countries, with Australia showing the highest share.

Travel has become one of the most important spending categories for millionaires in Asia Pacific, with over half of all interviewed expressing the intention to spend more on travel than on other luxury items in the next 12 months.

China registers the highest increase YoY among all countries surveyed.

Millionaires in China, Malaysia and Thailand show higher propensity to travel in style and to spend on luxury items overall.

Millionaires are willing to spend on travel experiences and activities more than on luxury accommodation. Cruise travel is growing across APAC, particularly in Malaysia, S. Korea and Australia, which show relatively higher spending on cruise travel.

Our research strongly shows that no matter what type of experience is considered, all must have one common trait: customization by understanding and anticipating the millionaire’s needs.

A great experience I associate with a luxury brand  is one that offers thoughtful, bespoke, intelligent service and solutions, and fills needs that you might not even anticipate yourself.

— Hong Kong Millionaire


Luxury travel brands need to set up personalized digital to offline customer journeys, using the volume of data available today. They have to make the end-to-end journey one seamless process, paying particular attention to pain points in between stages.

Luxury travel brands need to set up personalized digital to offline customer journeys, using the volume of data available today. They have to make the end-to-end journey one seamless process, paying particular attention to pain points in between stages.

Favorite Travel Activities and Destinations

Shopping, sightseeing and dining are the most popular leisure travel activities for travellers from countries across Asia Pacific.

China shows a more diverse set of activities than most other APAC countries, which indicates that the Chinese traveller is evolving, becoming more curious and sophisticated in his travel habits.


Japan is the most sought after country to travel to by Asian millionaires, due to the weak Yen, variety of destinations, authentic culture, cuisine and nature/environment.



Millennials’ Leisure Travel Behaviour

Although millennial (those in the 18-34 years of age bracket) millionaires in Asia Pacific go on international leisure trips on a more frequent basis than the non-millennial millionaire counterparts, the difference is not as marked as one would expect. 46% of millennials took at least 3 leisure trips annually, compared to 38% for the non-millennial segment.

The non-millennials remain an important contributor to the luxury travel industry. Their spending power remains very high.

Most Beloved Travel Brands (in the past 12 months)

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, offering a unique style of luxury Asian hospitality and remains the most beloved brand in the Hotels category for Asian Millionaires, followed by Hyatt and JW Marriott.

With the launch of AirBnB Plus, which only includes selected and vetted premium accommodations, AirBnB is increasingly seen as an alternative to luxury hotels. We expect Millionaires in APAC to list AirBnB among the top 10 hotel brands in the next 5 years.

Cover image credit: JW Marriott

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