Travel trends

Travel trends: insights on Asian travellers

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Understanding traveller behaviour is key to unlocking potential opportunities. That’s why, each year, we survey thousands of global travellers to analyse outlooks and trends. In this post, we’ll look at the results for Asian travellers.  

In total, we surveyed 11,505 bookers from across Israel, India, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and the UAE. Here’s what our research revealed.  

Travel budgets are boosted 

When asked about their planned spending in 2023, Asian travellers said they aim to increase their budgets. Our survey was conducted in January and February this year. Compared with 2022, half of Asian travellers say they plan to spend more: 24% say they will spend ‘significantly more’, with a further 37% looking to spend ‘somewhat more’ on trips. Indian travellers, in particular, are going to boost how much they spend on holidays - either significantly (48%), or somewhat (32%). 

Just under a third (31%) of Asian travellers felt their travel budgets would stay the same as last year. Only 8% of those surveyed said they would spend less, either somewhat (6%) or significantly (2%). 

For those increasing their travel budget, spending more while travelling (48%), taking a higher number of trips (41%), and taking longer trips (40%) were the most common reasons.

Trips with a partner prove popular 

A partner or spouse was the preferred travel companion of around half (49%) of Asian travellers – those from the UAE (59%), Hong Kong (54%) and Israel (53%) especially.  

Travellers were next most likely to take a break with a nuclear family (parents and children). Across Asia, 44% said they were planning to go on a leisure trip with such family members. 

traveller trends asia

City trips are top of the list 

Cities are special. From gleaming skyscrapers to round-the-clock nightlife, it’s no wonder that a city break takes top spot for Asian travellers when it comes to their trip of choice. Our research shows that 39% will take a city trip this year, closely followed by a weekend trip (38%), or a beach vacation (36%). South Korea travellers especially said they fancied taking a beach vacation (47%) or a weekend trip (45%).  

The great outdoors and the (equally great) thrill of roller coasters attract travellers from Asia. Nearly a third (29%) said they would take a trip to a theme park. And roughly a quarter (24%) are keen on a camping trip – notably higher than the global average. 

Taiwanese travellers are more likely than any other nation to take a trip for a public holiday. Almost half (47%) of bookers from Taiwan say that this was something they plan to do. 

Food experiences and sightseeing are tied for first 

Gastronomy is on the minds of 44% of Asian travellers, who say a food experience is something they would like to incorporate into a trip – higher than the global average.  

Vying for top spot in things to do while away is a sightseeing tour, also coming in at 44%. Among travellers from Asia, the third most popular pursuit on vacation is visiting a viewing point to get wowed by the sights (at 40%). 

Outside of the top three sits a day of shopping. Making time to hit the stores is a must for 38% of those surveyed. 

asia traveller trends

Mobile devices are best for booking 

 

Mobile phone apps are the most popular method of booking in Asia at 65%. Chinese (86%), Vietnamese (79%), Thai (77%) and South Korean (76%) travellers are most likely to book this way. 

Booking through a mobile phone website proved less popular, at 48%. Securing a trip using a laptop or personal computer was a hit with just over half (53%) of Asian travellers. Roughly a quarter (23%) will sometimes use a tablet to book.   

Slightly over half (51%) use the internet to book flights, 46% reserve their spots online for attractions and activities, and 42% use technology to book packages. Providing further food for thought are the 40% who snap up restaurant reservations online and the 34% who book events tickets for sports, music and live shows. 

Business is booming for Asian travellers 

It seems like Asian travellers are eager to get back to business travel. Of those surveyed, only 30% answered ‘no’ when asked if they planned on travelling for business (with a further 12% saying they didn’t know).

Having a ‘workcation’ was something 55% of Asian travellers had done. A further 37% said that while they hadn’t taken a workcation, they would be interested in taking one in the future. 

Yet it’s not all work and no play. A healthy 79% of Asian bookers would enhance a business trip by seeing the sights, with 74% saying they would extend their business trip by adding on time for leisure.  

*Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who had taken a leisure trip in the last 12 months and planned to take a leisure trip in 2023. The sample comprised 11,505 bookers from across Israel, India, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and the UAE. Respondents completed an online survey between January and February 2023. 

Key Takeaways

  • Just over half of Asian travellers plan to spend somewhat or significantly more on travel compared with last year. 
  • A partner or spouse is the preferred travel companion among Asian travellers. 
  • Travelling solo, with a friend, or with a group of friends is more popular among Asian travellers than the global average. 
  • Almost three quarters of Asian business travellers say they would extend a business trip by adding on time for leisure.

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