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Luxury travel trend as super-rich want status symbols

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Wealthy move from luxury goods to travel experiences

The world’s super rich spent $1.8 trillion on luxury goods and services in 2013. Now the trend is to look for luxury travel with unique and often extreme experiences and thrills.

They have already visited all the boutiques in Paris and Hong Kong, according to a new study by the business advisory firm Boston Consulting Group. Now they want something really special.

“Luxury is shifting rapidly from ‘having’ to ‘being’ – that is, consumers are moving from owning a luxury product to experiencing a luxury,” the group’s senior partner Antonella Mei-Pochtler said.

Of the $1.8 trillion spent on luxuries in 2013, around $1 trillion went on services, from private airline flights to five-star wellness stay with butler and en-suite marble bath. $1 trillion is about the same as the wealth controlled by the poorest half of the world’s population, or 3.5 billion people. The sum is also about the same as the wealth controlled by the world’s richest 85 billionaires.

Unique travel adventures might include Antarctic expeditions or bespoke safaris. One Chinese multimillionaire spent $1.5 million on a two-year tailor-made tour of almost 1,000 Unesco heritage sites. His son, meanwhile, took a vacation diving with hammerhead sharks.

Chinese premier Xi Jinping is looking to control big spending by officials. But worldwide, BCG predicts the luxury market will grow by a further 7% this year.

The Guardian

[Cartoon by Body and Soul International – www.bodyandsoulinternational.com]

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