New types of travelers to look out for this summer
Heading away on vacation this summer? Don't be surprised if you come across some 'new sophisticates', 'single saris' or 'luxury pilgrims' -- they're just three new types of travelers the surge in Asian markets is producing.
With the huge boom in outbound travel from Asian nations, particularly China, where the growth rate is 18 percent a year, it's perhaps unsurprising that the type of traveler and the reasons for travel are changing.
©AFP PHOTO_PATRICK LIN
Some Chinese tourists are looking for new experiences rather than traditional vacations, the report said.
At this week's forum International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Asia (June 4-7), researchers from London's The Future Laboratory presented their impression of some of the new types of tourist set to become more common in the future.
A far cry from beach-loving Americans or city-hopping Europeans, the 'New Sophisticates' luxury travelers are from China, Indonesia and India and are seeking new experiences more than status, the report said.
"New Sophisticates are rejecting 'vanilla' trips to tried-and-trusted destinations in favor of Yangtze River cruises, holidays on the Galápagos Islands and high-end safaris, demonstrating their newly found connoisseur sensibilities," noted the researchers.
Another trend will be professional Indian women traveling alone for the first time, the so-called 'Single Saris', although presumably they'll be heading to destinations different to those of the 'ultra-honeymooners', a group reflecting the burgeoning wealth of China and India who book £200,000 ($307,000) wedding/honeymoon packages.
Even without a honeymoon, some Asian travelers are willing to splurge on vacations, the report said, although 'Luxury Pilgrims' are discerning, heading to India for a religious pilgrimage but insisting on five-star hotel and spa retreats while they're there.
At the conference, Abercrombie & Kent India's Vikram Madhok corroborated the growth of luxury travel in his country, noting that Indian luxury travelers' spending "has risen from $475 per person to over $1,000."
At the other end of the scale are the 'Frugal Millionaires', noted The Future Laboratory, wealthy Chinese citizens challenging brands to deliver a five-star experience, with elements of economy.
And it shouldn't be a surprise to see Asian travelers in large groups, the report predicts, with the 'Luxe pPack' trend suggesting more demand for multigenerational groups touring the world.
Along with the surge in outbound travel, there will also be growth in inbound travel to countries such as India and China over the coming year, most experts predict.
One of the driving forces behind this will be those keen to learn more about their ethnic heritage, giving rise to 'Green Shoots', a cadre of tourists that are leading environmentally and culturally sensitive trips to destinations such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and rural China.
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