A Recent Portrait of Asian Travellers

Travelzoo Asia Pacific has released its annual subscriber survey findings that show that this year they are forecasting an increase of 17 percent in travel budgets over 2013. The results also indicate certain changes in vacation spending patterns of the Chinese travellers. It transpires that the majority of them are willing to spend more to upgrade their holiday experiences as they are opting for high-end accommodations.

shaThe Pearl landmark in Shanghai.

This survey mapped changes in consumer behavioural attitudes and it also provides a benchmark for the travel industry across the Asia Pacific region. A study was conducted among 3,400 Travelzoo subscribers between November 24 to December 15, 2013. The informants hailed from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

This quantitative study suggested that the Chinese travellers will continue to lead the region with regards to travel frequency. On average the mainland Chinese subscribers are expected to travel about 6.5 leisure trips and will spend around USD $8,200 each during 2014. These figures are followed by the Japanese segment, with 5 leisure trips and an average expenditure of USD $4,800. The Taiwanese with 4.4 leisure trips and an average expenditure of USD $6,170; and Hong Kong travellers with 4.3 leisure trips and an average spend of USD$6,900. Curiously, Australians will travel the least, with an average of 3.5 leisure trips in 2014. However, this study suggests that they will fork out the most. The Ozzies will be spending over USD $9,340 for their vacations this year.

When respondents were asked to describe their attitude towards leisure travel, 62 percent of the informants indicated that they would prefer to explore the destinations at their own pace. Fifty four percent declared that they want to rest and relax during their vacations. Almost half of the informants would like to improve on the quality of their vacation package. The informants revealed that they will spend more on hotels, food and entertainment, and less on shopping. The Chinese subscribers are willing to spend an average of USD $169 per night. This finding is in line with their willingness to spend even more for a better holiday experience.

Group Tours: Interestingly, the Group tours’ appeal continued to decline among all subscribers, with a regional average of 30 percent who will choose to travel in groups. Evidently, the Chinese like to personalise their own travel experiences as only 14 percent go for group tours, and 58 percent purchase accommodation and transportation individually.

All-Inclusive Holidays: Over 51 percent prefer all-inclusive holiday packages and purchasing accommodation and transportation only. Fifty four percent of the Chinese subscribers prefer all-inclusive holiday packages

Mobile Internet: Over 80 percent of Travelzoo Asia Pacific subscribers will be using mobile internet during their holidays. An overwhelming 98 percent of the Chinese subscribers maintained that they will do so, followed by 93 percent Hong Kong subscribers. Eighty four percent of Asian travellers held that the first thing they would do when they reach a café / restaurant or a hotel is to check for the availability of free Wi-Fi.

This study confirms that tourism in the Asia Pacific region is yet another important engine for economic growth. It shows that outbound tourism in Asia is poised to grow further in the coming years. Travel Zoo’s study has also noted some of the emerging trends in the tourism sector. As a result the travel and hospitality businesses will have to respond to their customers’ expectations by offering higher levels of personalised service as well as better quality vacation products. Those tourism practitioners are required to satisfy their customers’ needs and wants, if they want to remain competitive.

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