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Thursday, 15 June 2017

(NST) Malaysia favourite among China luxury travellers


MALAYSIA is in the list of top seven island destinations of choice for summer holidays among luxury travellers from China, with Thailand (Phuket), Maldives, Fiji, Bali, Hawaii and Saipan (China) leading the list.

According to a study conducted by Hurun Report Inc, a leading media group targeted at China and India’s high-net-worth individuals, survey respondents have been to their destinations of choice an average of six times, and they plan to return to their favourite locations twice in the next three years.

The millennial’s are particularly fond of islands, which constitute all seven of their preferred destinations, with the Maldives and Phuket in first and second place, respectively.

Top island destinations in Malaysia are Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Tenggol, Sipadan, Pulau Mabul, Pulau Redang, Pulai Tioman, Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Langkawi.

The report, entitled, “2017 The Chinese Luxury Traveller”, was presented by Hurun chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM Asia 2017) in Shanghai, recently.

The survey also finds that luxury hotels are still the first choice for China’s luxury travellers.

The Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons hotels, both of which have a presence in Malaysia, are among the most popular choices, ranking first and third, while boutique hotels are increasingly favoured.

Further, the report finds China’s luxury travellers are becoming increasingly demanding and are no longer satisfied by the traditional tour group mode of travel.

They have come to appreciate the benefits of customised services, and enjoy visiting unique locations at favourable times with like-minded companions, the report said.

When comes to purchases, cosmetics (45 per cent), local specialities (43 per cent), luggage (39 per cent), clothing and accessories (37 per cent) and jewellery (34 per cent) remain the most sought-after items among luxury travellers.





The Hurun report also shows that Europe and Southeast Asia are preferred by a considerable margin when it comes to destinations of choice among Chinese luxury travellers.

Europe, of course, with its cultural heritage and picturesque natural scenery, is long-established as the destination of choice among the Chinese jet set, while Southeast Asia is more newly established, having surpassed the Americas as one of the hottest destinations for luxury travellers over the past two years, it said.

ILTM Asia 2017 is a leading annual business-to-business event that presents the world’s most desirable destinations, luxurious accommodations and convenient transport facilities to cater to the affluent traveller’s market.

Due to the overwhelming response, ILTM Asia will move to Singapore for a 2018 edition, while a new event, ILTM China, will remain in Shanghai in October next year, to be re-focused for buyers and planners of outbound luxury travel from China.

ILTM portfolio director Alison Gilmore said research among its clients shows that the luxury outbound market is growing fast that many companies are now separating their current and future business plans and marketing strategies to focus on China and Asia as two independent opportunities.

“ILTM has listened and is responding with two dynamic events dedicated to their own audiences,” she said at the ILTM Asia 2017 opening forum, here.

Luxury travel is outpacing ordinary travel in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines and ILTM Asia will now focus on this growth, collectively bringing together international and regional luxury travel suppliers to boost and build their businesses from this dynamic region.

This year, 469 buyers were present at the event, representing high-end travel agents, concierge companies and private travel designers from 18 countries.

In addition, 462 exhibitors from 53 countries participated the event, with 43 new main stand holders.

In all, over 26,000 appointments had taken place at the ILTM Asia 2017, here, an increase of six per cent year on year.