Millennials Redefine Luxury as 'Instagram-able' Experiences.
By Marie Chauvin, Brand Karma
Monday, 30th September 2013
Luxury travel hotspots shifting eastward to Asia; At Brand Karma, we're fascinated by what social media can tell us about the future of travel.

We've just produced a report called "The Luxury Traveller & Social Media: The Americas" in partnership with the International Luxury Travel Market, which aims to understand the preferences of luxury travelers in both North America and Latin America.

The report analyses 541,186 reviews written about more than 2,000 luxury hotels worldwide, interpreting the collective voice of travelers across the region.

But as we were researching travellers in the Americas we discovered some noteworthy insights into luxury travellers in Asia as well. With the WIT Conference less than a month away, we thought it useful to share some of these here.

One of the key takeaways is that the behavioural patterns of luxury travellers - and specifically the way purchasing decisions are influenced - are now redefined by the "Millennial" generation who seek "Instagram-able" experiences that are visual, one-of-a-kind and will generate buzz amongst their social networks. The Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) is responsible for the growth of social media in record time.

This trend is perhaps even more pronounced within Asia where photos and videos are shared more frequently than in other geographies. The prevalence of this trend in Asia is partially explained by the fact that Asia Pacific has the highest number of smartphone penetration, and that photo-taking is a big part of the tech-savvy Asian culture.

Additionally, our findings indicate a clear shift in luxury hotspots as measured by year-over-year growth in online reviews about luxury hotels in these destinations. While long-standing luxury hotspots, like Paris or Las Vegas, are still attracting travellers, newer and trendier destinations are attracting more attention, as indicated by sharp increases in luxury social postings. Most of these upcoming luxury hotpots are in the southern and eastern hemispheres, including Da Nang, Goa, Yangon, Chengdu, and Kyoto.

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Chinese booking and review websites, like Ctrip and Dian Ping, now encompass over 15% of all reviews on luxury hotels globally. TripAdvisor continues to be the largest review site for luxury hotels: it produces 53.1% of all reviews on luxury hotels globally vs 39.2% of reviews about non-luxury hotels.

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