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Global luxury traveller wants meaningful experiences

A round-up of news from the world of luxury, watches, fashion, food and more

Wealthy travellers continue to prefer spending on experiences over goods, says a new report (Unsplash)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 08.12.2022  |  06:52 PM IST

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The global luxury traveller is now more interested in conscious tourism, wellness and meaningful human connections. That’s the conclusion of a report released recently at the International Luxury Travel Market trade show in Cannes, France.

According to Bloomberg, the report was based on a survey of 1,200 high-net-worth individuals and affluent travellers in 14 nations, spread across parts of Asia, Europe and the Americas. The survey was conducted by luxury market research firm Altiant, in partnership with American Express.

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The report found that a majority of wealthy travellers continue to prefer spending on experiences over goods. Almost 60% plan to spend more on travel in 2023, compared with a mere 10% who say they’ll cut back, states Bloomberg, citing the report.

When selecting a destination, health and safety rank as the No.1 factor. Wellness, meanwhile, remains a key driver in vacation planning for 61% of respondents.

Forty-five percent respondents say they plan to take more eco-friendly trips next year, and that number jumps to 81% for Chinese travellers, states Bloomberg. It adds that a little more than half are willing to pay up to 20% extra for sustainable holidays. Over 25% respondents say that the environment and sustainability are important to them. Over 70% say that seeing carbon emissions data on their flights or holiday picks is very or somewhat influential in their booking decisions.

The high-end watch drama

According to the UK-based reseller Subdial, reducing prices for Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet watches have dragged down an index of the most traded timepieces on the secondary market to pre-boom levels.

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A Bloomberg report states the Subdial50 Index, which tracks prices for the 50 most traded luxury watch references by value, has fallen to levels not seen since before an unprecedented surge in 2021 and early 2022. The decline shows the most sought-after watches from the top Swiss brands haven’t been able to maintain lofty prices hit during the pandemic when cash-rich consumers stuck at home snapped up Patek Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks and Rolex Daytonas. The Subdial50 Index has declined by almost 5% in 12 months and nearly 17% in half a year, adds the Bloomberg report.

A beauty app’s Anime shine

The option to turn a user’s selfie into an anime character has helped the Meitu app reach the top of Japan’s download rankings over the past week, according to a Bloomberg report. The app has taken the help of artificial intelligence (AI) for the feature. Hong Kong-based Meitu Inc. is up more than 50% over the past couple of weeks, in which time its app has reached the top of Apple Inc.’s free iPhone downloads chart and No.2 on Android’s Google Play in Japan, according to data.ai figures.

“Japan has a culture of sharing manga on Twitter," University of Tokyo professor Fujio Toriumi said, in the Bloomberg report. The novelty of using AI to generate similar pictures is “both a threat and a surprise" to that established audience, but many are embracing it out of curiosity.

There's a foie gras shortage  

The consummate delicacy of French holiday tables, foie gras pate, might be harder to find in the coming months. According to an AFP report, the luxury treat is becoming pricier due to a bird flu outbreak that ravaged farms across the west and south last winter. France is the world’s largest producer and consumer, usually raising some 30 million ducks alone each year, states the AFP report.

After millions of ducks and geese were culled to halt the epidemic, some farmers say they are having to take an unprecedented step, using females to produce the luxury treat. The taste is the same, but female livers are much smaller and harder to work with, explains the AFP report.

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