Asian travellers will be shunning Western holiday destinations in 2017 in favor of destinations closer to home — and safer, according to the results of a new survey.
In an online survey that polled more than 7,680 travellers across Asia for the booking site Travelzoo, no Western destination was able to crack the top five spots.
Instead, travelers from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore said they plan to spend their vacation time and money in destinations closer to home, with Japan emerging the most popular destination in 2017, particularly among residents of China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
More than 22 per cent of Chinese respondents who said they plan to visit Japan this year are also repeat visitors.
After Japan, Australia holds much appeal for Asian tourists, with 65 per cent of Chinese respondents citing safety reasons as one of its primary attractions.
“Concerns about safety from terrorist attacks weigh in heavily on Asian tourists’ travel decision-making,” said Vivian Hong, President of Travelzoo Asia Pacific.
“Nearly 80 per cent of them travel with family so they are very mindful of the security measures. As a result, destinations within the Asia Pacific region, such as Japan and Australia, offer a compelling alternative.”
Overall, 2017 will see a spike in Chinese travel, with 70 per cent of respondents saying they plan to travel abroad two times or more — an increase of 10 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Similarly, nearly 30 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong said they plan to travel four times or more in 2017, marking a five per cent increase.
Chinese millennials with families and money
One of the driving forces behind the travel spike? Millennials with families and disposable income, says Hong.
“China is witnessing a generation of millennials that is becoming the dominant force in leading the travel wave,” she said.
“Most of them are married and have children now. They love to spend more of their disposable income on a sunny beach holiday with their family.”
Chinese travelers are increasing their holiday budgets, with the number of tourists budgeting more than US$2,040 (RM9,073) on travel, marking a 10 per cent increase compared to last year.
Survey results also showed that in the last 12 months, there’s been an increase of 10 per cent in Chinese tourists taking two or more holidays.
“Despite the upheavals of 2016, we see a clearly increased level of travel interest from Asian tourists,” Hong adds.
“Asia’s ascendancy in the global economy, consumer confidence in Asia remains strong and it’s reflected in the travel industry. This is especially the case for China.”