Staying Close to Home: Asia Pacific Travellers Choosing Regional Destinations

Singapore — Shorter flights and shorter stays – travellers from Asia Pacific are favouring getaways closer to home and within the Asia Pacific region compared with holidays that require long international flights, according to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study 20151 (“Study”). 

The Study found similar patterns among their global peers, with an overall decline in the number of travellers choosing to take long-haul flights (9 hours or more) in favor of short-haul flights (4 hours or less). 23 percent of respondents reported taking long flights on their most recent trip, down from 29 percent in 2013, while the number of respondents who reported taking shorter flights on their most recent trip rose slightly to 46 percent from 43 percent in 2013.

On average, global travellers spent seven hours of travelling time on their most recent trip. As well, 64 percent of travellers who participated in the Study chose to fly economy class on a standard airline. Budget airlines are popular with just one in five (20 percent) travellers who participated in the Study.

Time spent at destination

The Study also shows that, despite being some of the most frequent travellers globally, Asia Pacific respondents are likely to spend the least number of days at a destination. Travellers from Africa and the Middle East are likely to spend an average of 13 days at a destination compared with just eight days for travellers from the Asia Pacific region. Just 35 percent of Asia Pacific travellers stay at a destination for seven or more nights, below the global average of 48 percent.

For shorter trips and holidays, travellers from Asia Pacific lead globally with 32 percent staying three to four nights and 11 percent staying only one to two nights, suggesting a strong preference for short trips close to home.

Globally, longer stays (seven or more nights) are most popular with affluent travellers (54 percent), while short one to two night stays are most popular with first-time travellers (11 percent).

In terms of accommodation, in Asia Pacific, hotels and resorts (82 percent) are by far the most popular holiday stay choice, followed by hostels/guest houses/chalets/BBs (18 percent) and staying at boutiques hotels and staying with friends and relatives, both 12 percent.

What drives leisure travel for Asia Pacific Travellers?

The top three most popular reasons given for embarking on international leisure travel by Asia Pacific travellers in the Study was “bonding” with loved ones (51 percent), “to 3 experience cultures” (40 percent) and “indulge” in good food, shopping, spa treatments and other pleasures/ entertainment (37 percent).

Favorite activities at destination

At their destination, Asia Pacific travellers enjoy shopping (68 percent), followed by visiting local sites (62 percent) and visiting famous restaurants (50 percent). In terms of cultural activities, the majority of Asia Pacific respondents say they visit famous local cultural sites, such as national monuments, museums, architecture, and street markets (62 percent), followed by visiting religious monuments (26 percent). On the opposite side of the experience spectrum, more than a quarter of Asia Pacific respondents say they shop for luxury items (26 percent).