Australia named top luxury destination in APAC with Indian travellers leading the charge

Australia named top luxury destination in APAC with Indian travellers leading the charge
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The luxury market is booming with Australia set to benefit as 35 per cent of high net-worth travellers in the Asia Pacific region planning a trip Down Under, according to a report from the Luxury Group by Marriott International.

    Australia is particularly popular amongst the Indian and Japanese market: it was named the No.1 destination for both regions with 69 per cent of Indian travellers and 25 per cent of Japanese travellers planning a trip here. 

    High-end gastronomy is the primary driver for luxury travel with 88 per cent planning holidays around food. 

    Across the APAC region, 68 per cent of travellers are planning to spend more on travel over the next 12 months. This was especially high in India where 89 per cent of travellers expect to spend more. One in four (25 per cent) of trips planned were celebrations. 

    Key trends 

    Increasing demand in India

    The most active and engaged travel market, 89 per cent of Indian HNW say they are planning to spend more on travel. Families and friends are touring together to mark key milestones, attend a private function or event, with 38 per cent planning a trip with friends and 33 per cent making theirs a celebratory trip.

    Recently wedding expert and founder of Wedded Wonderland, Wendy El-Khoury, told Travel Weekly that Indian expats living in Australia were a key driver of holidays here.

    “There are people who moved to Australia on their own who have friends and family that come over from India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong or Singapore for their wedding,” she said.

    It is important for the Australian market to be able to accommodate all these requests, which can include a multi-day itinerary around the wedding, she added.

    A fascination for food

    It also recorded 88 per cent are picking their holiday destination based on discovering a new food or culinary experience. Acutely aware of dining trends, almost half of the respondents (49 per cent) describe a fine dining experience as an ideal night out. Reinforcing this point, 83 per cent will choose a destination to visit an award-winning restaurant and 35 per cent agreed they would spend more on unique culinary experiences. When choosing a hotel, 81 per cent of HNW travellers make their selection based on fine dining options and 83 per cent choose a destination so they can visit a celebrated restaurant.

    Deeper extended experiences 

    The research among HNW travellers in Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and India reveals they are traveling frequently with longer holidays especially across the Asia Pacific region. An average of six leisure trips is planned within the next 12 months while 33 per cent of respondents are planning at least seven holidays this year. On average, a short stay comprises three nights while a long stay is two-and-a-half weeks. For many, the kinship and connection within a group enhances the richness of the travel experience, with over 70 per cent choosing to travel with family or friends.

    Australian traveller statistics and trends

    HNW Australians will take seven trips this year, 87 per cent combine business and leisure, 72 per cent planning a trip in Asia Pacific region, Hong Kong and Japan are their top destinations. Australians are more motivated than other countries to return to places they love (85 per cent) and Australians take the longest trips with 73 per cent planning a minimum two-week getaway. A further 33 per cent taking over 3 weeks (Japanese take the shortest).

    Personalised service in their hotel is their top priority. Australians prioritise making local connections (shopping and eating) and Australians highest in the region looking for physical wellness activities.

    New traveller personas

    With more disposable income for holidays and a growing population of ageing travellers, the research has identified three new categories of affluent travellers. These include:

    i) The ‘Venture Travelist’

    The next-generation Bleisure tourist, the Venture Travelist prioritizes holiday destinations that will generate business opportunities. While they enjoy their vacation with their family and loved ones, they are always on the lookout to secure a deal. Entrepreneurs at heart, they explore a location, shopping for local products and antiques, and looking to forge business connections with members from the local community.

    ii) The ‘Experience Connoisseur’

    Predominantly millennials, Experience Connoisseurs plan their leisure travel as an opportunity for personal enrichment. They travel extensively and see the experience as an investment in their mental and physical wellbeing. They want to deeply explore a destination, they value personalisation and actively seek exclusive one-of-a-kind experiences.

    iii) The ‘Timeless Adventurer’

    Debunking every stereotype of the over-65 ‘silver set travellers’, Timeless Adventurers are keen explorers who want to immerse themselves in a destination. They’re less interested in tourist attractions and more drawn to what gives the destination a sense of place, what makes it unique and memorable.

    The findings are from a research report commissioned by Marriott International Luxury Group conducted over a period from April 18, 2024, to May 13, 2024, with frequent international travellers who primarily travel for leisure. The study targeted the wealthiest 10 per cent of residents in Australia, Singapore, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan with 200 respondents from each market.

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