ILTM Asia 2016 to define the Asian luxury traveller of the future

he 10th edition of ILTM Asia opened yesterday with the powerful message that affluent travellers from across Asia are set to significantly increase their overseas leisure travel during the next year.
A dedicated seminar by Amrita Banta of Agility Research revealed the findings of their new survey ‘The Future of the Asian Luxury Traveller”. The survey explores the attitudes to travel and patterns of travel of 5,373 high net worth individuals across 8 countries in Asia: China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, an average of more than 300 in each territory.

Amrita reported that the new Asian high net worth traveller is now seeking luxury in the way they travel: Indians are cited as wanting to travel first class and stay in five star hotels. She also highlighted that these travellers are seeking new, unexplored destinations and new experiences; travellers from Hong Kong are going to Japan to ski and Chinese travellers have nature tours and safaris at the top of their list.

While China is the leading leisure travel source market of these eight regions studied, Singaporeans are the most frequent travellers. Tokyo is not only a top destination for the Chinese, but increasingly tourists from across Asia; Osaka is also becoming a major destination. Finally, travel and luxury shopping go hand in hand for the Asian traveller – shopping is a major motivator for choosing travel destinations.

The seminar kicked off the education programme at the 10th edition of ILTM Asia – the leading luxury travel industry event for the industry to meet with agents representing the highest net worth of individuals from 19 countries across Asia.

The evening continued with the ILTM Asia Opening Forum in the Shanghai Theatre, Rupert Hoogewerf – Chairman and Chief Researcher of the renowned Hurun Report Inc, addressed ‘Why China’s Generation Y is Driving Global Luxury’ and the serious effects of Chinese rapid wealth creation on the global luxury market.

Rupert shared key findings from the report including the significant spending power that China now contributes to the global luxury sector. The report findings show that 2016 is the first year that not only have the Chinese have overtaken the US in the number of US$ billionaires, but the first year Beijing has overtaken New York City in billionaires. 20% of the world’s USD billionaires are Chinese and the younger generation (Generation Y) have a significant influence on how their wealth is spent – 60% are considering emigration and 80% send their children abroad for education, ensuring a Chinese population that’s more economically powerful and international than ever before.

The ILTM Asia Opening Forum continued with a presentation by entrepreneur and writer Rachel Botsman, who originally defined the theory of ‘collaborative consumption’ in 2010. Rachel discussed resource-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Uber and how they represent a generational shift in the way people access and consume goods and services. She highlighted the fact that media consumption has already completely moved from physical ownership to on-demand consumption where content is accessed but not owned and commented: “For the first time, we have a generation that trusts and takes risks in an entirely new way. They seek the experience of having continuing choice rather than ownership – this is a generation that sees their smart-phones as a remote control to the physical world. “

Rachel refers to an ‘asset-light’ generation that can afford to buy but would prefer to purchase access through subscription models that allow flexibility and choice. “Airbnb has created a market for things that people didn’t even think they wanted,” she said. Over the next decade Rachel predicts that the asset-light generation will lead a major shift from asset ownership to “on-demand solutions for everything, be it helicopters, cars, groceries, hotel rooms, and indeed any experience that you can think of and many you may not have even considered yet. “

ILTM Asia continues until Thursday 2 June, facilitating over 25,000 one-to-one, mutually matched appointments between those representing global luxury travel experiences from across the world and almost 500 high-end Asian travel agents, each specialising in creating and planning luxury travel for their high net worth clients.