NEWSLETTER Revenge Travel: Making up for lost time

Luxury means health, luxury means travel.” This comment, which we recorded recently during one of the thousands of affluent consumers’ interviews we carry out every year, really encapsulates the mood of the affluent and high-net-worth individuals towards luxury in the last year. For many, luxury today is not a new bag, watch or car, but rather a healthy life and the freedom to travel to experience and discover the world.The travel sector has been the most battered by the Covid-19 restrictions. ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization,  estimates a staggering $370 billion financial loss for the aviation industry, with airport operators losing a further $115 billion. But the worst seems to be behind us and there is hope for recovery for the broad industry.

With countries across Asia, USA and Europe reaching high vaccination rates, many affluent and high-net-worth individuals have started making plans to resume both domestic and international travel. This is no surprise to us; we have been picking up signs of strong pent-up demand for travel and a desire to return to pre pandemic normality in our data for months.

A large majority of affluent Asians plan to travel domestically for leisure in markets where domestic travel is possible. This is especially true in China, where consumers are almost back to their normal pre-Covid lifestyle, and where 88% of affluent individuals planned some form of domestic trip, particularity among the Gen Z and Millennial groups.

A majority of affluent consumers are also planning to resume international travel in most key Asian markets, with the only exception of Japan, where affluent consumers are more cautious due to the low vaccination rate and fear of a new wave following the Olympics.

Yet, our data show that travel patterns and mindsets have changed. While most affluent Asians used to enjoy travel to the furthest and most exotic destinations, now they are planning to visit destinations which are either culturally similar or which they have visited before. Still high in most travelers’ mind is the worry they will be stranded in an unfamiliar destination due to a resurgence of Covid 19.

Therefore, for affluent Chinese, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are the destinations most likely to travel to, all in Asia and culturally similar. While Japanese affluent are planning to travel to US, Taiwan and Australia.

We found that what affluent and HNW Asian travelers miss the most is the feeling of being pampered and taken care of in a luxurious environment. While most cannot yet travel, they are splurging on staycations at their local 5 stars hotels, restaurants, and spas.


Our signature study, TrendLens™ 2021, tracks affluent and HNW consumers shopping and travel behaviours across key global markets. Gathered from thousands of in-depth interviews with affluent and HNW consumers, TrendLens™ 2021 is an essential solution for hospitality and travel brands to tap into the pulse of the affluent consumer and understand trends across wealth, gender, age and to provide with actionable insights to win market share.

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