Skift Take

What's in a name? Call them GenerAsian Travelers or Native Explorers, a majority of Asian travelers share a strong penchant for travel experiences rooted in culture and heritage. Their shared enthusiasm extends to exploring the broader region as well.

In the evolving landscape of post-Covid travel, Hilton has cast its spotlight on a new demographic, the “GenerAsian Traveler.” Hilton says this group is driven by a strong desire for self-discovery and a deep interest in exploring their cultural and ancestral roots through travel.

The insights follow a survey Hilton conducted with Ipsos, shedding light on the expectations and aspirations of these travelers.

The Hilton survey says that this new wave of Asian travelers is keen to travel, even if it means cutting back on spending in other areas of their lives. This trend, the survey says, is particularly pronounced in countries like India, China, and Singapore.

What sets the GenerAsian Traveler apart is sense of pride and honor in the global appeal of Asian culture and heritage. The survey showed that these travelers take pride in the international recognition and admiration accorded to Asian food, design, and culture — think Squid Games, K Pop, manga and more.

In late 2019, a McKinsey paper noted: “In contrast to the past when the region was largely a recipient of Western culture with Asian citizens enthusiastic consumers of Hollywood movies and British pop music, for instance, today cultural flows go in both directions. Asia has sufficient scale, cultural content, and diversity to create its own entertainment blockbusters.”

GenerAsian Travelers are said to prioritize accommodations that offer unique local experiences, with China, India, and Singapore emerging as the frontrunners in this preference. What these travelers prioritize above all else is the exploration of local and traditional cuisine, emphasizing their desire for authentic culinary experiences.

In terms of budget allocation, Asian travelers are allocating a significant portion of their resources to food and beverage experiences, underscoring their passion for gastronomic exploration. Meanwhile, adventure and exploration experiences take precedence in other markets.

Other hotel chains are trying to figure out how to target travelers in the region. In July, Marriott International introduced the concept of “Native Explorers” in a regional survey report concentrating on the Asia-Pacific region. These “Native Explorers” represent a demographic of affluent and well-traveled Gen Z and millennial travelers, who are now now looking to travel to destinations in nearby regions.

The preferred travel destinations for these young travelers include Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand, with an interest in exploring culturally-rich locales such as Australia and Thailand, among others.


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Tags: asia, asia monthly, asian travelers, china, cultural tourism, experiences, gen z, hilton, india, marriott, millennials, singapore

Photo credit: Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta spoke on-stage at the Skift Global Forum on September 26, 2023. Skift

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