‘Luxury Backyard Travellers’, is a group of affluent millennial and Gen Z travellers in Asia Pacific who are bucking the trend, travelling in reverse order to generations before them, seeking nature, cultural experiences and ‘pinch-me’ moments.
Conducting a regional survey, Marriott International coined this term to describe the new generation of travellers who are set to disrupt the industry. While their predecessors may be saving up for costly long-haul travel later in life, ‘Luxury Backyard Travellers’ claim they will be spending their travel dollars closer to home for at least the next two years.
The survey across Australia, China, Japan, India, Singapore, and South Korea was commissioned to better understand the attitudes of affluent millennial and Gen Z travellers and help luxury brands meet their evolving aspirations.
With their sights firmly set on holidays closer to home, Luxury Backyard Travellers rank Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand as their top three travel destinations. They are also seeking out the new in familiar hotspots such as Australia and Thailand through a culture-centric lens.
Although one in four Luxury Backyard Travellers would prefer to beat the jetlag and pick nearby, fuss-free holidays, their sense of adventure shouldn’t be underestimated: 43 percent look for nature escapes and wellness experiences, and 36 percent are looking for hidden cultural gems they have yet to discover.
“Globally, we’re seeing an undeniable shift among travellers towards more meaningful, one-of-a-kind experiences in both new and familiar destinations. This is particularly evident in Asia Pacific from our findings on Gen Z and Millennials’ travel patterns and behaviours,” said Bart Buiring, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Marriott International Asia Pacific
“With young affluent travellers in Asia Pacific gravitating towards under-the-radar holidays and culturally-rich itineraries, we’re expanding our luxury portfolio in the region’s most sought-after destinations like Nara, Sydney, and Jiuzhaigou in China with a target of opening 12 properties in 2023 alone.”
Luxury defined by authentic connections and experience, with craft still key
Luxury Backyard Travellers are redefining what luxury travel means – from elusive and exclusive to meaningful connections and experiences. As they transition towards understated and authentic holidays, one in three respondents called out human connection, genuine hospitality, and being part of a community as critical components of luxury travel.
The majority (58 percent) believe once-in-a-lifetime experiences and pinch-me moments are what make the luxury travel experience.
Top picks include VIP access to sold-out concerts of their favorite artists and exclusive culinary workshops with celebrity chefs.
Marriott Bonvoy Moments, is a platform where Marriott Bonvoy Members can use points earned from travel and everyday activities to bid on exclusive packages to fulfill these desires, offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences, ranging from unrivaled access to the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team to closed-door sessions with celebrity chefs and artists.
Craftsmanship remains crucial to luxury travel, and over 50 percent believe service excellence and state-of-the-art facilities are key tenets.
Personalisation remains a key deciding factor in choosing a luxury hotel, with 32 percent expecting bespoke services such as a dedicated travel advisor and 32 percent preferring to stay with hotels that offer tailored itineraries and customised amenities.
The Ritz-Carlton elevated Club experience was launched recently to take guests into a world of personalised luxury experiences. From pre-arrival to departure, the elevated Ritz-Carlton Club experience is available across all Ritz-Carlton hotels in Asia Pacific, where guests will find unique indulgences, curated culinary journeys, and personalised encounters that create meaningful moments.
Explore destinations through luxury hotel comforts
Caught between their desires to discover and luxuriate, a staggering nine in 10 respondents prefer to explore the destination with assistance from their luxury hotel, rather than research and hire a local guide of their own.
Almost half prefer to sample local cuisine through the property’s gourmet dining, 39 percent want to experience the local culture through the hotel’s curated programming, and 34 percent are keen to try local wellness rituals available at the hotel spa.
Luxury Backyard Travellers’ thirst for cultural discovery extends to their accommodation choices, with a majority (76 percent) of respondents opting for hotels and resorts with destination-inspired concepts.
Brand affinity remains key for Luxury Backyard Travellers with approximately one in three opting for destination-inspired abodes under an established luxury brand. W Hotels’ evolved design direction takes a thoughtful approach through the lens of both the brand and its location, so no two W hotels look the same.
Marriott International’s luxury brands portfolio is poised to meet the demands of Luxury Backyard Travellers
Marriott International’s luxury brands portfolio is poised to meet these reimagined travel desires with hotel openings that inspire the modern traveller.
The company plans to take its unrivaled portfolio of eight dynamic luxury brands to the region’s most popular travel spots such as Sydney and Bangkok and emerging destinations like Fukuoka, Japan and Jiuzhaigou, China.
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