The currency of experience has global value

By PR Newswire   November 23, 2018 | 06:54 am PT
A research has found that the trend for experience over material goods is global.

The research of YouGov on behalf of Priority Pass, the world's leading and original airport experience program, surveying over 3,000 people in Australia, China and South Korea, and more than 10,000 globally, the data shows that respondents in APAC all overwhelmingly value shared experiences - which manifests most clearly in the form of holidays.

Travel tops the table

Research found that people like taking domestic short breaks, with nearly half of South Koreans and Australians particularly enjoying them at 47 percent and 49 percent respectively.

In fact, travel topped the table of their favorite activities with near a fifth (17 percent) of people in APAC saying they most enjoyed a cultural trip abroad. This was reflected in spending, with people splashing out an average of $1,437 a year on getting away from it all. This was higher than any other activity and almost more than 50 percent on what they spent on luxury items, which rung up an average of $942 annually.

Kevin Goldmintz, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific at Collinson, the operator of Priority Pass, commented that globalization and increased competition in the travel industry had propelled consumer demand for domestic and international travel experiences.

"I have not been surprised by the rise of experiential travel and people wanting to travel better, on a deeper emotional level," Kevin said. "One of the biggest shifts has been the demand from travellers for a more personalized and customer-centric experience, and they expect that experience starts even before they get to their holiday destination."

Kevin stated that this also involved increasing demand for exclusive airport lounge facilities, access to quality restaurants within the airport precinct and luxury services such as massage and gym facilities.

Kevin continued: "The statistics show that experience is definitely king. This tells how highly people value different experiences, especially those that can be shared. We at Priority Pass are proud to play a part in this: our airport experiences offer people even more enjoyment from their time in airports, whether traveling for business or leisure.

"Consumer behavior is changing. Those companies that are able to offer products and services which respond to the growing investment in the currency of experience will reap the rewards when it comes to customer loyalty."

Sharing experiences

Holidays are not the only experiences they enjoy. Around a fifth of respondents in APAC like indulging in health and beauty services (19 percent) and watching live sports events (22 percent), while 52 percent said they like going to the cinema. And at the top of the experiences table, 56 percent of people across the Asia-Pacific region said they enjoy going out for a meal.

The results suggest that a shared social experience is key to people's enjoyment, and social media use also adds to the perception of value of an experience. For example, travel for leisure and a trip to the cinema are the activities that were most likely to post about on social media (37 percent and 33 percent, respectively) compared to more solitary activities like a fitness session at the gym (13 percent) or buying luxury items (11 percent).

And when asked what they'd spend a $300 cash gift on, almost a quarter of people (23 percent) in APAC would put it towards a trip away, which is the same percentage globally, while 16 percentregionally would pay for a special meal with friends and family - in fact, this was the most popular answer in South Korea (24 percent).

The Next Big Thing consumer futurist, William Higham, said: "People increasingly look for more 'meaning' in what they do, therefore possessions are proving less valuable than experiences, and the memories and learnings that we gain from them. And we'll care more about status updates than status symbols. This will be encouraged by the growing importance of social media across all age groups, since experiences typically offer better opportunities to post photos and updates than products."

Age really is just a number

Priority Pass's research found that holidays focusing on cultural activities, in particular, are valued across the board regionally: 36 percent of 18-24s, 34 percent of 25-34s, 38 percent of 35-44s, and 37 percent of 45-54s say going on a cultural holiday abroad is their favourite activity, compared to 45 percent of over-55-year-olds, which is the highest percentage across the surveyed age groups.

According to the results, 25-34s were most likely to enjoy an international city break (28 percent), and nearly a quarter of 18-24s (24 percent) and a fifth of over-55s (18 percent) were fond of them too. Almost a fifth (18 percent) of people enjoy travelling alone and this was reflected in spending, with people splashing out an average of $1,200 a year on solo travel. This was a third more than what they spend on luxury items, which rung up an average of US$900 annually.

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