Exploring places: Affluent Indians indulge in travel
TRAVEL is the not-so-guilty passion of Asia’s top money earners, according to a survey by Visa, with people from Hong Kong and India most likely to go on a weekend get-away. “New sights, new tastes and new sounds drive the personal interests of affluent people in Asia Pacific,” said James Lim, regional head of Visa Consumer Credit and Debt in a statement detailing results of the survey. Counting “high income earners” as those in the top 20-40 per cent, the survey said 73 per cent of respondents saw travel as their top personal passion for the next two years. Food was second with 43 per cent, while music and cars were joint third with 31 per cent. The survey polled more than 4,000 people in India, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Australia, and Japan. Respondents listed their passions in order, which is why figures total more than 100 per cent. Although the survey was carried out in September and October last year, before the full effects of the global financial crisis were being felt, Visa said one-off big purchases were less susceptible to economic fluctuations than might be expected. “Passions are pursuits for the longer term rather than for the present,” said Visa. The most popular travel destinations for Asia Pacific high flyers were Japan (34 per cent), followed by Australia (29) and the US (26), the survey showed. While travel was the first choice for men and women, men went next for cars and wine, while women chose food and art. Surprisingly, sport - including golf - was a passion for less than one per cent of respondents.
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