Travellers

New research reveals Asia Pacific's most confident travelers

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Booking.com's Travel Confidence Index reveals that despite strong pent-up desire to travel, confidence to venture beyond borders remains diverse and nuanced across Asia and Oceania

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 the region has become more pronounced. 

To provide a snapshot of how confident customers feel about exploring the world again, as well as whether they would welcome inbound travel, Booking.com has launched its first 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 travelers from 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022.

Traveller Confidence Index

 

Across the 11 markets polled, India emerged the most confident, with 86% 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 the 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 travelers (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 shows that while travel intent remains strong, travel confidence remains nuanced across Asia – for a variety of reasons. It’s a promising indication of the opportunities available for the industry to adapt and collaborate now to bolster the overall confidence of travelers, 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 travelers 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 situation continues to plague travelers. 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 due to frequently changing border regulations” (37%). 

Traveller Confidence Index - APAC

 

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 due to new border regulations—61%, 53%, and 55% respectively—while in Japan, the top concern of 47% of respondents was getting sick while traveling.

When asked whether travelers 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.

 

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Takeaway
  • Booking.com has launched its first 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 travelers, 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 travelers from 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022