As Asia and Oceania start to emerge from years of strict border closures and lockdowns, the diversity in terms of consumer travel sentiment and confidence across Asia Pacific has become more pronounced.
To provide a snapshot of how confident customers across the region feel about exploring the world again, as well as whether they would welcome inbound travel, Booking.com has launched its inaugural APAC Travel Confidence Index.
The Travel Confidence Index explores the overall comfort levels, motivators and concerns of customers across Asia Pacific and how this varies across the region. Combined with proprietary data and insights, the commissioned research polled 11,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022.
Across the 11 markets polled, India emerged most confident with 86% of Indian travellers stating they intend to travel in the next 12 months, followed closely by Vietnam and China. While North Asian markets of Korea, Taiwan and Japan ranked lower on the index in terms of overall confidence, travel intent among respondents remained relatively high (above 60%).
The research indicates that Indian, Vietnamese and Chinese respondents were most willing to put up with or overlook key travel deterrents – which included enduring disruptions and travel costs – in order to travel. Conversely, a majority of Japanese respondents (75%) expressed uncertainty with border reopenings, as well as their country’s preparedness to safely receive international travellers (82%).
“It’s truly been heartwarming and exciting to see travel in Asia Pacific returning with the easing of most border restrictions," says Laura Houldsworth, Managing Director of Asia Pacific at Booking.com. "This has reinvigorated not just consumers, but the travel industry overall. Our APAC Travel Confidence Index reflects how while travel intent remains strong, travel confidence remains nuanced across Asia – for a variety of reasons. It is a promising indication of the opportunities available for the industry to adapt and collaborate now to bolster the overall confidence of travellers, so we can truly make it easier for everyone to travel and experience the world again in a sustainable way.”
Top travel motivators
The desire to travel remains strong among Asia Pacific travellers overall, with ease of planning and booking travel as well as cost being the top two considerations. Both ranked consistently high across all markets, even as restrictions continue to ease around the region.
The desire to “just get away” (46%) also emerged as the top motivator to travel for APAC consumers after two years of lockdowns and a rapidly evolving travel landscape; followed closely by a “getaway to recharge mentally” for 36% of respondents. For Thailand, such retreats were the prime motivator for an overwhelming 76% of respondents, a percentage far higher than any other market.
Top travel deterrents
It's clear that uncertainty due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation continues to plague travellers. When asked about their top concerns and what would prevent them from booking a trip, ‘travel cost’ was listed as the number one deterrent by 38% of all respondents. This was followed by the ‘fear of having to undergo quarantine’ (37%) and the ‘possibility of getting stuck because of frequently changing border regulations’ (37%).
Top concerns for several destinations varied quite significantly. In Singapore, China and Hong Kong the top concern was the possibility of getting stuck at the destination because of new border regulations – 61%, 53% and 55% respectively – while in Japan the top concern of 47% of respondents was falling ill while travelling.
When asked whether travellers accepted disruptions as being part of travel now, interestingly nearly half of Japanese (47%) and Korean (32%) respondents said no - the only two markets to do so.
- Booking.com has launched its inaugural APAC Travel Confidence Index, exploring the overall comfort levels, motivators and concerns of customers across Asia Pacific
- Indians emerged as the region’s most confident travellers, with 86% saying they want to travel in the next 12 months
- North Asian markets of Korea, Taiwan and Japan ranked lower on the index in terms of overall confidence
- The commissioned research polled 11,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022