Wealthy people in Asia, Africa and the Middle East are increasingly choosing 'authentic experiences' over material possessions, a survey by Mastercard shows.
"Our studies... revealed a shifting tendency among the affluent to seek and discover authentic experiences as opposed to purchasing and owning physical luxury items," the authors said, noting increased focus on achieving personal growth and happiness through travel or mastering new skills.
"Financial success is perceived as the foundation that allows [wealthy individuals] to be the best person they can be. In addition, their strive towards financial independence is motivated by their belief that such status will grant them the choices, resources and the time they need in life," they added.
Mastercard surveyed 1,000 affluent individuals in select Asia Pacific/Middle East/Africa (APMEA) countries - China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the UAE - throughout 2013. The survey focused on the APMEA region due to its high concentration of wealthy people; by 2017, 70 percent of the world's affluent population will be located in APMEA.
Those surveyed listed dining, travel and golf as their top interests. They also showed a distinct preference for experiences relevant to their lifestyle rather than discounts and promotions.
"Wealth is perceived to be a means to experience the world and to truly live life, with travel being the best medium to explore the world," the survey said, noting that APMEA's wealthy tend to travel for business or leisure at least six times per year.