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In a world that is currently plagued by a pandemic, the wealthy’s optimism about their fiscal future has them engaging the concept of luxury and indulgence in a different light

In a surprising turn of events, global spending of the affluent and wealthy has increased exponentially. This can be incontrovertibly attributed to the fact that a significant number of these global millionaires have a heightened positivity about their economic and financial future, in which the 2021 Agility Global Millionaire Luxury Report—released by the luxury consulting firm Agility Research & Strategy—reveals 63 per cent of millionaires in China and 79 per cent of those in India are optimistic about an increase in their disposable income in the near future.

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This overwhelmingly positive outlook on their financial future as seen largely in countries like India, China and the United States consequentially fuels the motivation for increased consumption and spending on luxury goods, such as Chanel, Cartier and Dior.

In light of this renewed pursuit of extravagance and quality amidst a struggling pandemic economy, it makes one wonder how the affluent all over the world are defining luxury today and if this shared revitalised optimism by them can serve to propel the world's economy to a better place.

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The Agility report generally sheds light on how the pandemic has effectively changed the long-term perspectives and lifestyles, which has in turn birthed a new meaning of luxury and spending. Luxury, as a lifestyle, was previously largely viewed as one of exclusivity and unreachable levels of quality and indulgence, and now with the pandemic on the back burner, middle-aged millennial consumers are increasingly relating to a new kind of luxury which is defined by health and wellness.

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The global health crisis has undoubtedly given rise to a newer and diversified definition of luxury, thus including ideas of health, freedom, and enjoyment. People now deeply recognise the value of good health and treasure the benefits of the shrinking world in travel and leisure.

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Furthermore, there is also a greater emphasis on sustainability and environment in the redefined concept of luxury as it was found that close to 88 per cent of Chinese millionaires are concerned with brands being ethically responsible and eco-friendly. “Luxury means having more environmentally friendly choices,” as told by a millennial based in Beijing.

The augmented exposure and spotlight on environmental concerns in luxury consumption show how the pandemic has motivated the affluent to have greater awareness and sensitivity for preserving the Earth and the world that we call home.

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While the travel and tourism industry has suffered the worst ever since the pandemic became global in 2020, there is great confidence in the global millionaire community that these losses will be turned around with the lifting of travel bans and vaccination procedures in countries around the world.

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The affluent are eager to travel again as the report found that there are high international travel intentions in UK and India, while those in China, the United States and Japan would still rather travel domestically than cross borders.

Ambitions to travel internationally are bold as millionaires consider countries like Italy and France as destination countries for their next adventure.

With the buoyancy of increased travel in the near future, it has also fueled a new hope in the revival and redemption of tourism industries in various countries like those in Central and Eastern Europe, and a hope that everything will slowly come to place once again.

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