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More in Asia choosing luxe experiences: Mastercard

The affluent in Asia are choosing to spend their money on luxury experiences rather than on luxury goods, according to a survey conducted by Mastercard. 

SINGAPORE: The affluent in Asia are choosing to spend their money on luxury experiences rather than on luxury goods.

This according to a recent survey conducted by the Mastercard Affluent Report.

The individuals surveyed have investible assets of at least $200,000 and, according to the report, they are getting younger with an average age of 37 and likely to be married with one child.

The survey was conducted with 1,000 affluent individuals, in markets like China, Hong Kong, UAE, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore and Japan.

According to the Mastercard survey, the average golfer in Singapore spends almost S$12,000 annually on this passion.

And these affluent few are looking for more than the perfect putt.

"Golfing is no longer about just going to play a golf game, it's about being able to get an experience that others can't get," said Porush Singh, a senior vice president at Mastercard Worldwide. "So one of the most popular things we've seen is the experience of being able to play with a golfing legend like Nick Faldo."

The survey found that there has been a shift in attitude which is changing the consumption patterns of the affluent.

Besides golf, travel remains the most desired experience among this group in Singapore (32 per cent), followed by culinary experiences (20 per cent), while desire for retail goods stood at a mere 9 per cent.

While London, Paris and New York remain popular travel destinations, the newly affluent are favouring other spots such as Ho Chi Minh City, Lima and Colombo.

"These people are rich, so yes they do want to go to London, Paris and New York and those cities remain the most popular in terms of numbers," said Singh. "But if you look at destinations that are growing in popularity, it's Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Lima and even Colombo in Sri Lanka.

"It's more about adventure and sharing experiences with family."

Other experts say it is about how one curates, packages and delivers the experience to the customer.

"This is really the age of experiential marketing," said Mykolas Rambus, CEO, Wealth-X. "There's so much competition for mindshare of luxury brands that the only way they can differentiate themselves really is by delivering those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

"So whether it's bringing clients to France, or bringing the experience of designers to Asia which is increasingly happening, it's all about building the experience for the individual client."

One new space to watch though is... space.

Analysts say, more of the ultra-affluent could be venturing into the orbit for the ultimate travel experience -- something that is literally 'out of this world'. 

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