Marriott International finds shifting trends in luxury travel in Asia Pacific, with Indian travellers leading in spending.

The Luxury Group by Marriott International has conducted extensive research among affluent travellers across six key markets, unveiling evolving expectations and preferences in the Asia Pacific region. As this area continues to drive growth in luxury travel, the findings reveal significant trends among high-net-worth (HNW) travellers.

According to the report, 68% of affluent travellers in Asia Pacific plan to increase their travel spending over the next 12 months, with 89% of Indian travellers leading this trend. A notable 74% intend to travel within the region, with 88% prioritising gastronomic experiences. Additionally, 25% of all planned holidays are for celebrations. Three new distinct categories of luxury travellers have emerged: the ‘Venture Travelist,’ seeking business opportunities while travelling; ‘Experience Connoisseur’ Millennials, focused on enrichment; and the ‘Timeless Adventurer,’ over 65s exploring new destinations.

“Our New Luxe Landscapes Report offers deeper insights into the behaviours and motivations of elite travellers from Asia and the Pacific,” said Oriol Montal, Managing Director of Luxury for Asia Pacific (excluding China) at Marriott International. “Whether discovering new culinary experiences, travelling with family or friends, or connecting with local communities, our research has identified new traveller archetypes, helping Marriott International better cater to this discerning segment.”

Deeper Connections and Extended Experiences

Luxury Travel
Experience Connoisseurs love solo and group travel, seeking deep exploration, local goods, unique dining, and personalised, exclusive experiences. Photo/Luxury Group by Marriott International

The research highlights frequent travel among HNW individuals in Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and India, with extended holidays predominantly within Asia Pacific. On average, travellers plan six leisure trips over the next year, with 33% planning at least seven holidays. Short stays typically last three nights, while longer vacations average two-and-a-half weeks. Over 70% prefer to travel with family or friends, enhancing the travel experience through kinship and connection.

Australia tops the list of destinations (46%), followed by Japan (42%) and Hong Kong (27%). Among Indian HNW tourists, 69% plan to visit Australia, making it a popular choice for Indonesian, Japanese, and Singaporean travellers as well.

Rising Demand in India

Indian HNW travellers are particularly active, with 89% planning to increase their travel spending. Families and friends often travel together to celebrate milestones or attend private events, with 38% planning trips with friends and 33% for celebratory purposes.

 Luxury Travel
Wellness travel booms in Asia Pacific, driven by Millennials seeking restorative experiences. Photo/Luxury Group by Marriott International

Culinary Enthusiasm

Culinary experiences are a significant draw, with 88% selecting holiday destinations based on food. Fine dining is a priority, with 49% viewing it as an ideal night out. Furthermore, 83% choose destinations to visit award-winning restaurants, and 35% are willing to spend more on unique culinary experiences. Fine dining options influence hotel choices for 81% of HNW travellers, while 83% select destinations for their renowned restaurants.

Fast Facts

Increased Spending: 68% of affluent travellers are planning to spend more on leisure travel, with 74% of respondents intending to take an intra-regional holiday within the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Top Destinations: Australia leads as the top destination for the next 12 months, surpassing Japan, with 46% planning a visit.

Indian Market Influence: Indian high-net-worth (HNW) travellers are at the forefront of luxury travel, with 89% planning to increase their spending in the next year.

Culinary Focus: High-end gastronomy is a primary driver for luxury travel, with 88% planning holidays centred around food experiences.

Emerging Traveller Personas: Three new personas of luxury travellers have been identified, highlighting evolving preferences and behaviours.

New Traveller Personas

The report identifies three new affluent traveller personas:

The ‘Venture Travelist’: These next-generation ‘bleisure’ tourists seek holiday destinations that offer business opportunities. While enjoying vacations with family, they also explore local markets for business deals.

The ‘Experience Connoisseur’: Predominantly Millennials, these travellers see leisure trips as investments in personal enrichment, valuing personalised, exclusive experiences.

The ‘Timeless Adventurer’: Challenging stereotypes of over-65 travellers, they seek immersive experiences, focusing on what makes a destination unique rather than tourist attractions.

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 Luxury Travel
Local crafts and products play a significant role in travel decisions. Photo/Luxury Group by Marriott International

Comprehensive Findings

The study, conducted from April 18 to May 13, 2024, surveyed the wealthiest 10% of residents in Australia, Singapore, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan, with 200 respondents per market. Key insights include:

India’s Engagement: 89% of Indian HNW individuals plan to increase their travel spending, averaging six trips annually.

Self-Sufficient Singaporeans: 61% prefer independent travel, curating their own itineraries.

Sustainable Travel: 80% consider a hotel’s environmental practices, with 43% expecting locally-sourced food.

Australians’ Extended Holidays: 73% plan two-week getaways, with 33% taking trips longer than three weeks.

Safety in Luxury: 91% prioritise a safe environment over exceptional service or personalised experiences.

Shopping for Local Products: 85% of HNW individuals choose travel destinations based on access to locally-made goods.

Hotel-Focused South Koreans: 54% prefer spending time at their hotel rather than exploring local attractions.

Culinary Preferences: 62% favour authentic local dishes.

Discovering New Destinations: 78% view this as a hallmark of a luxury holiday.

Immersive Luxury: 80% define luxury travel as being surrounded by refined craftsmanship and exquisite design.

The full report is available to download.