Enabling, structuring and creating elite transnational lifestyles: intermediaries of the super-rich and the elite mobilities industry

Sin Yee Koh, Bart Wissink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This article considers how the migration industries lens can be usefully employed in understanding how professional intermediaries enable, structure, and create transnational migration lifestyles of the super-rich. In particular, we examine how intermediaries and their services (1) enable the continued sustenance of transnational migration lifestyles for this group of elites; and (2) structure and create elite transnational lifestyles. This article primarily draws on interviews with professional intermediaries who service the super-rich, and content analysis of their websites and brochures. Inspired by insights from the new mobilities paradigm (and in particular the politics of mobility), we argue for an expanded conceptualisation of the migration industries beyond the literature’s current focus on labour recruitment and migration management. Specifically, we suggest thinking of the migration industries as a collection of actors and services that enable, structure, and create different types of ‘migrants’, their spaces and their highly uneven transnational mobilities–including that of the super-rich and their elite transnational lifestyles. We conclude with suggestions for a research agenda that may help to better understand the role of intermediaries in the creation of differentiated mobilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-609
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Elite transnational lifestyles
  • intermediaries
  • migration industries
  • mobile elites
  • mobilities industries
  • super-rich

Cite this