Travel is today’s ultimate luxury, Google identifies four new traveller archetypes

TRAVEL has become the ultimate luxury in today’s world, declared Hermione Joye, Sector Lead, Travel, APAC for Google, as she shared the latest findings from a Google and Kantar study at WiT Singapore 2022 last week.

One, “revenge travel” is here to stay in the APAC traveller mindset, with 75% of respondents keen to travel as much as possible in the near future. Two, 30-60% of people in key APAC markets are currently travelling more and spending more vs pre-Covid times. And lastly, 48% are motivated to travel for relaxation, unwinding and destressing.

“Travel is seen as a respite from daily life – unwinding and de-stressing is the #1 motivator for travel across APAC,” she said.

Hermione Joye: The traveller landscape is highly nuanced but one common feature is the rise of videos in engaging with travellers.

The research identified four traveller archetypes.

Remote value seekers (32%): 

  • Budget-minded domestic travellers
  • Looking to explore outdoors with adult friends and family
  • Relaxation is top of mind

Urban Traditionalists (27%): 

  • Keen but cautious travellers
  • Looking to travel to international cities for active holidays

Luxury Loyalists (25%):

  • The highest-value customers
  • Most loyal segment
  • Can help to amplify your brand through consistent digital engagement, particularly on video platforms

Eco-minded Families (17%):

  • Budget-conscious
  • Preference for nature and environmentally conscious providers

It’s important to note that the traveller landscape is highly nuanced, said Joye. For example, in the case of Urban Traditionalists, travellers in Australia are more likely to stick to the familiar while those in China are more likely to explore new destinations. “Some regions may still be nervous about Covid, whereas countries like Australia and India are likely to show less hesitancy when travelling.”

When compared to pre-Covid times, Luxury Loyalists showed an uptick in all major travel spending habits. They are 35% more likely to spend more vs pre-Covid-19 when it comes to “revenge travel”. ‘Exceptional luxury’ is 220% more likely to be a top motivation for travel compared to before. They are 70% more likely to employ someone to help plan and book travels (34%) and as the name implies, Luxury Loyalists are 30% more likely to only book with previous provider.

These habits are in contrast with the Urban Traditionalists, who are 35% more likely to prefer active holidays than before, with 50% more open to trying new brands – they’re likely to have booked with a new accommodation.

The top factors in their travel decision making are brand trust, competitive pricing and flexible policies, she noted.

The power of video in engaging with consumers cannot be understated. Across the APAC region, almost all travellers (98%) are researching and making travel purchases online and more than half of them (56%) are using video touchpoints in their travel journey. Video touchpoints include YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, streaming services or Facebook.

To attract the new APAC traveller, Joye gave these tips.

  • Harness your IP data to understand your customer segments, in order to speak to your audience in a personalised and relevant way
  • The APAC traveller is more digitally dependent than ever before. Make digital the core of your strategy, from data to marketing
  • There has been a rapid rise in the power of video in travel. Establish brand presence and engage with travellers on channels such as YouTube

Travel is today’s ultimate luxury, Google identifies four new traveller archetypes