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Aussies spend twice as much annually on travel as luxury items

A global survey of consumer spending behaviour confirms the trend towards experiences over material goods, with Australian respondents in particular valuing shared experiences.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of airport lounge program Priority Pass, shows that Australians value travel more than any other experience, ranking cultural holidays overseas, holidays at home, solo travel abroad and overseas city breaks and weekends among their top five experiences.

This finding is reflected in spending preferences. Australian respondents said they spend an average of $1,731 a year on travel, more than double of what they spend on luxury items, which rung up an average of $657.

Going out for a meal was the only non-travel related experience to make the top five experiences. Going to the cinema, attending a live event and partaking in beauty services were among the top 10, where the travel theme continued, with wellness and spa holidays abroad and sporting experiences abroad also featuring on the list.

“People increasingly look for more ‘meaning’ in what they do, therefore possessions are proving less valuable than experiences, and the memories and learnings that we gain from them,” William Higham, a consumer futurist, said about the results. 

“This will be encouraged by the growing importance of social media across all age groups, since experiences typically offer better opportunities to post photos and updates than products,” Higham said.

The survey found that travel for leisure and a trip to the cinema were the activities most likely to be shared on social media (26 per cent and 19 per cent) respectively, compared to more solitary activities like a fitness session at the gym (11 per cent) or buying luxury items (7 per cent).

This finding reinforces the idea that shared experiences are key to consumers’ enjoyment.

“The statistics show that experience is definitely king. This tells how highly people value different experiences, especially those that can be shared,” Kevin Goldmintz, executive vice president of Asia Pacific at Collinson, which operates Priority Pass, said.

“Consumer behaviour is changing. Those companies that are able to offer products and services which respond to the growing investment in the ‘currency of experience’ will reap the rewards when it comes to customer loyalty.”

YouGov surveyed more than 10,000 people in nine countries, including over 1016 people in Australia from August 28, 2018 to October 8, 2018.

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