According to a recent survey commissioned by Marriott International, they have identified a new breed of luxury travelers in the Asia Pacific region, and they’re not your average jet-setters. They’re called “Native Explorers,” and they’re affluent millennials and Gen Z travelers who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it.
These young luxury travelers are already well-traveled, with one in four having visited at least two continents outside of Asia Pacific by the age of 26. Despite having the means to travel the world, they’re choosing to spend their travel dollars closer to home for at least the next two years. But don’t mistake their desire for domestic travel as a lack of adventure. These young explorers are seeking out new and authentic experiences in their own backyards, with Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand topping their travel wish lists.
So what do these Native Explorers consider to be luxury travel? It’s not just about five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants anymore. They’re looking for meaningful connections and experiences, with a focus on human connection, genuine hospitality, and being part of a community. They want to discover hidden cultural gems and explore local communities in a way that allows them to connect with the destination on a deeper level.
Personalization is also key for these savvy travelers. They expect bespoke services, such as a dedicated travel advisor, and prefer hotels that offer tailored itineraries and customized amenities. And forget cookie-cutter hotels with no personality. Native Explorers are opting for hotels and resorts with destination-inspired concepts that provide a unique and authentic experience.