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Asia’s burgeoning appetite for travel

Asians’ appetite for leisure travel remains strong, regardless of economic uncertainty, says Internet media company Travelzoo.

The study conducted by Travelzoo Asia Pacific and consumer insights consultancy firm WIMI, showed that the average travel frequency in Asia Pacific will increase to 4.5 from 3.6 last year. Regional spending will also see a similar growth of around 23 per cent over that of last year.

Although economic uncertainty and inflation continues to weigh heavily across the region, these figures show that Asian’s appetite to travel not only remains unabated, but will instead only grow stronger, it says.

When segmented by country, Australian travellers will be the biggest spenders this year. According to the survey, Travelzoo Australian subscribers will fork out on average US$8867 and travelling 3.8 times, compared to last year’s figures of US$6877 and travelling 2.8 times.

The survey also showed that Mainland Chinese subscribers, with 6.9 leisure trips on average that includes getaways and long-haul holidays, will travel the most in 2013. This is a significant increase from last year’s average figure of 4.2.

Chinese will also be the second biggest spenders after the Australian leisure seekers. Figures show that they will spend 20 per cent more than last year, amounting to US$7117 on average.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong travellers are forecast to spend 22 per cent more but travel slightly less in 2013. According to the figures, they are looking to spend US$5909 on average but reduce their average trip to 4.2 from 5 last year. Inflation and stronger overseas currency may be key reasons for the slight curb in travel, as Hong Kong travellers are expecting to spend more per trip than they were used to.

Japanese travellers’ desire to travel continue to remain strong, with 4.7 trips on average compared to last year’s 3.4. However, the weaker Japanese yen and the resurgence of inbound travel after the Tsunami, with less discounted deals for local travellers, will see this group’s spending remain nearly flat at US$4342 this year.

Taiwan travellers will follow their Australian and Mainland Chinese counterparts by travelling more and spending more. Figures show that they will spend US$4050 on average, and travel on average three times.

Australia continues to be the favourite destination for most Mainland Chinese subscribers, although the Maldives and Thailand are becoming increasingly popular, ranked second and third respectively, according to the study.

“What the survey shows is that the desire for leisure travel remains strong. At the same time, you cannot deny the growing influence of Mainland China travellers on the leisure travel market,” said Jason Yap, CEO, Travelzoo Asia Pacific.

“Buoyed by a strong Renminbi, and a growing passion for unique travel experiences, our discerning subscribers in China are highlighting their strong travel appetite, which has changed considerably over the past year and is driving the regional travel trends,” added Yap.


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