Sophie Chen
Oct 11, 2013

Asia-Pacific affluent travel more, buy more, but remain cautious about financial investments: Ipsos

SINGAPORE – Robust domestic demand, accommodative monetary policies, rapid credit growth and the rebound of capital inflows have driven Asian affluent’s lifestyle, spending and media consumption worth a total investment of US$767 billion, according to the Ipsos Affluent Survey Asia Pacific (formerly Ipsos PAX) launched today.

Asia-Pacific affluent continue their upscale life
Asia-Pacific affluent continue their upscale life

This is the 17th year that the global market research firm has launched the study, which surveyed 19,890 affluent people in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and Japan.

The findings show that more people with total international air trips (excluding Tokyo) reaching 14.4 million in the past year, an increase of 31 per cent since 2009.

Totally, there were 6.6 million international business air trips, a rise of 13 per cent from 2012. While 16.1 per cent of the respondents went on a business trip over the past year with a year-on-year increase of 1.6 per cent, people who take leisure trips also increased from 36.1 per cent to 37.8 per cent. The volume of international leisure trips has increased 14 per cent in the past year.

Singapore leads the way in both business (41.8 per cent) and leisure (84 per cent) trips, followed by Kuala Lumpur (27 per cent) in terms of the proportion of business travellers.

“This is by far the best year in a long time for Affluent travel, with a substantial increase across the region, and especially in Singapore,” said Clare Lui, executive director of Ipsos MediaCT in Hong Kong. “The best indicator remains the rise not only of the proportion of travellers, but also their volume.”

The survey also finds that almost half of the respondents agreed that keeping up with modern technology is key to success with 59 per cent of them from top management.

Ownership proportions of smartphones rose from 49.5 per cent to 67.9 per cent while traditional mobile phone ownership went down from 60.5 per cent to 48 per cent. Tablets’ ownership increased 12.8 per cent to 32.3 per cent, while digital camera is likely to continue to stall.

Singapore affluent, once again, topped the league with 53.6 per cent of tablet ownership and smartphone at 91.5 per cent.

With increasing popularity of Smart-TVs, Internet TVs rose from 11.1 per cent to 16.3 per cent in the past year (17.1 per cent in Singapore) and 3D TVs doubled from 5.2 per cent to 9.8 per cent. Over four in ten own an HDTV already.

“While the digitalisation of the world once meant people had to own always more devices, we can see the trend now moving to a concentration of the market, with smartphones and tablet cannibalising other devices such as photo & video cameras or even e-readers,” Liu said. “Meanwhile as TVs themselves become smarter, it will be interesting to see how they interact with smartphones and tablets in the future.”

However, affluent are still cautious about their financial investments in the past year with shifts in the type of products they invest in, rather than a real increase.

Overall financial product ownership rose slightly from 78.1 per cent to 82.2 per cent, while Seoul remains the highest (94.3 per cent), followed by Singapore (91.5 per cent) and Taipei (91 per cent).

Life insurance products are most favoured by Singapore affluent (86 per cent), followed by stocks/securities/bonds (44.2 per cent) and unit trust/mutual funds (37.6 per cent).

In Asia, primary residence ownership increased from 50 per cent to 52.3 per cent, with property investment decreasing from 18.2 per cent to 16.6 per cent.

However, Singapore is on the opposite track, with primary residence ownership dropping slightly from 25.5 per cent to 25.3 per cent, and property investment increasing from 17.8 per cent to 18.4 per cent.

The findings also indicate a good year for luxury across Asia Pacific. One third of the respondents own fine jewellery or watches, while 68 per cent of them own a private car with 17 per cent planning to buy one over the next 12 months.

Jewellery is seeing the biggest increase year-on-year, followed by footwear, watches and apparel. In Singapore, ownership of jewellery and luxury apparel worth over US$1,000 reached 38.5 per cent and 23.2 per cent respectively.

Women are definitely born with a shopping gene, with 53 per cent of surveyed affluent who enjoy shopping being female, which leads to 54 per cent of net ownership of all luxury products be women.

The survey also shows that 41 per cent of respondents have consumed alcohol in past four weeks, and 51 per cent are top management.

In total, 76 per cent of them have watched, read about or attended sports, while Jakarta shows the biggest passion (93 per cent), followed by Australia (87 per cent) and India (80 per cent).

When it comes to media consumption, regional print remains one of the main channels. However, with increasing integration of multiple channels, more Asia-Pacific affluent have started to view TV or print content through the internet, mobile phone and mobile applications.

Multi-platform content consumption for TV increased 10 per cent to 47 per cent in the past year, including 43.3 per cent via access point channels, 11.2 per cent via TV websites and 5.8 per cent via mobile.

Multi-platform content consumption for print accounts 24 per cent, including 16.6 per cent via regional print, 9.8 per cent via print website and 4.8 per cent via mobile.

Campaign Asia

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