Asia travel spending trends revealed
Hong Kong consumers continue to be the most well-travelled tourists in Asia Pacific, with 84 per cent of respondents having travelled internationally for leisure during the past 12 months.
That’s well above the regional average (41 per cent) and ahead of Singapore (80 per cent) and China (74 per cent).
According to the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, during international leisure travel, Hongkongers spent an average of around HK$12,895 per person per trip, compared to $13,412 in the second half of 2014. The biggest share of travel expenditure remains transportation (26 per cent), followed by accommodation (23 per cent) and eating out (17 per cent). Despite a drop in travel spending, more than eight in 10 international travellers (86 per cent) planned to travel more or the same level in the next 12 months, second only to China (92 per cent) in the region.
Dining out is a common habit among local consumers in Hong Kong. Almost all respondents (99 per cent) ate out in the past six months, while 94 per cent intended to dine out the same or more in the next six months, ranking number one in the region together with China (94 per cent). Before dining, they tended to seek credit card promotions (44 per cent), feedbacks from acquaintances (44 per cent) and online reviews of dining outlets (43 per cent) while more than two-thirds of respondents (69 per cent) asked if there was any credit card promotion when paying the bill.
Hong Kong consumers are big fans of luxury shopping, with 75 per cent of respondents planning to spend more or the same on luxury goods in the coming year, ranking number two in Asia following China (77 per cent). While China ($38,126) remains the biggest spender on luxury goods, Hong Kong secures its fourth place in the regional chart with an average intended spending of $23,845 in the next 12 months, after Japan ($32,253) and Korea ($25,771). While designer clothes and leather goods (29 per cent) are the most desirable items among local consumers, there is also significant preference for jewelry (23 per cent) as well as designer accessories and footwear (23 per cent).
The survey also studied the saving behavior of Hongkongers, among whom 91 per cent intended to save the same or more in the next six months. Although spending on overseas holidays (48 per cent) was claimed to be the first item cut back in the event of a loss of household income, it is also the top spending priority of local households if they receive additional monthly income. Compared to Taiwan (86 per cent) and Singapore (83 per cent), only 74 per cent of local parents in Hong Kong regularly saved for their children’s education while the average proportion of monthly household income saved to serve this purpose was 12 per cent, slightly below the regional average (13 per cent).
Other findings about Asian travel spending include:
- Japan (67 per cent), South Korea and Taiwan (both 44 per cent) remain the top three travel destinations in the next 12 months.
- Airline websites (54 per cent), travel agents (52 per cent) and coupon sites or applications (40 per cent) are the most preferred sources of travel information and deals among local travellers.
- The most visited dining places among local consumers are fast food restaurants (79 per cent), mid-range family restaurants (76 per cent) and food courts (73 per cent).
- Cash is generally used for purchases at fast food restaurants and food courts where meals tend to cost less than $300.
- Millennials (18-29 years old) from China intend to spend on average $34,024 on luxury goods over the next year, significantly more than the Asia Pacific average of $20,155.
- Promotions play a significant role among online shoppers in Hong Kong, with 74 per cent of respondents claiming to buy luxury goods on websites that offer discounts.
- Hongkongers (32 per cent) are less interested in attending education courses in the next 12 months than those in China (42 per cent) and Taiwan (36 per cent).