The Changing Face of Travel

A recent study about the travel habits and intentions of Asian travelers from Travel Zoo lays out a few surprises and says a lot about how the global travel market will change to match millenials’ desires. The Travelzoo annual 2017 Travel Trends Survey was conducted using an online questionnaire completed by 7,683 people from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Travel is Increasing

When asked about 2017 travel, 70% of Chinese respondents say they will travel abroad two times or more—an increase by almost 10% compared to the same period last year. Nearly 30% of respondents in Hong Kong plan to travel four times or more in 2017, which is an increase of 5% over the same period last year.“Despite the upheavals of 2016, we see a clearly increased level of travel interest from Asian tourists,” says Vivian Hong, President of Travelzoo Asia Pacific, “thanks to Asia’s ascendancy in the global economy, consumer confidence in Asia remains strong and it’s reflected in the travel industry. This is especially the case for China. China is witnessing a generation of millennials that is becoming the dominant force in leading the travel wave. Most of them are married and have children now. They love to spend more of their disposable income on a sunny beach holiday with their family.”

In the past 12 months, there has been an increase of 10% in Chinese tourists taking two or more holidays. The number of Chinese tourists who are willing to spend more than RMB 14,000 on traveling has also increased nearly 10% compared to last year. 11% more respondents would spend more than RMB 600 per night on a hotel this year. The number of Chinese tourists who prefer budget hotels has decreased nearly 5%, while the number of those who prefer high-end global hotel groups almost tripled.

Regional Destinations are Hot

This year regional travel is in and so right now destinations within the Asia Pacific region are more attractive to Asian tourists. Japan continues to top all other destinations. It is the country Asian travelers most want to visit based on a unanimous vote from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Australia is also on Asian travelers’ minds, being one of the top 10 destinations in every Asian country/region and being the second favorite destination for Chinese and Singaporean travelers.Survey findings found that for Chinese travelers, Japan and Australia are the No. 1 and No. 2 destinations they would like to explore in-depth. More than 22% of Chinese respondents who plan to visit Japan are, in fact, repeat visitors.

Safety Matters

For the first time, none of the Western European destinations was voted for the top 5 destinations by all Asian countries/regions. Nearly 65% of Chinese respondents chose “safer” as one of their reasons behind voting for Australia, while 50% chose the same reason as part of why they voted for Japan. Millenials just may not have the same risk tolerance as their older coherts.“Concerns about safety from terrorist attacks weigh in heavily on Asian tourists’ travel decision-making,” comments Vivian Hong, “nearly 80% of them travel with family so they are very mindful of the security measures. As a result, destinations within the Asia Pacific region, such as Japan and Australia, offer a compelling alternative.”