When it comes to luxury spending, Asian millionaires are shifting their priorities towards travel experiences, valuing health and well-being over personal luxury goods.

Asian millionaires are shifting their focus away buying personal luxury goods and more towards travel-related experiences involving spas, exercise, health and wellness, according to a behavioural report by consulting firm Agility Research & Strategy.

The study, which has been conducted since 2015, looks at the consumption patterns of high-net worth individuals from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Japan.

Travel accounted for the biggest spending category overall, ahead of personal luxury goods, except in China where millionaires still spent more on fashion. On average, Asian millionaires travelled around two to four times internationally, and one to five times for business in the past 12 months.

“Many Asian millionaires point to a change in priorities from focusing on brand names and physical luxury goods towards a focus on quality of life, and an increasing association of international travel with a high-quality lifestyle,” said Amrita Banta, Managing Director at Agility.

Shopping is less relevant 

Shopping, which until a few years ago was cited as the top reason to travel across all six markets covered by the study, is becoming less relevant, she noted. “We continue to see a shift in priorities away from material items to experiences. Affluent consumers want to spend time on experiences that make them… grow.”

“Wellness experiences… from spas to nutrition, exercise to medical, physical rejuvenation to mental well-being, are on top of the list of affluent desires.”

Japan, Australia and the United States were cited as the top destinations for the coming year with issues like sustainability and eco-friendliness also growing in importance for Asian millionaires, particularly for China and India with 85 percent stating these issues influence their choice of hotel.

Asian millionaires' interests are also becoming more sophisticated: city tours, diving, food, amusement parks, spa and hot springs are some of the most cited reasons to travel.

Looking forward, Banta said she expects experiences to remain a spending focus particularly amongst millionaires aged between 25 and 45 years old. “I think experiences, food, wellness, exploration will all be key themes.”


About the author

Limei Hoang

Editor, Luxury Society

Limei Hoang is an editor at Luxury Society, based in Geneva. Limei was formerly an associate editor at the Business of Fashion in London. Previously, she spent six years working at Reuters, and has also worked for BBC, The Independent and New Statesman.