Travel now a necessity as Asians become explorers

Asian travellers now prefer to take more independent trips
Asian travellers now prefer to take more independent trips

The Asian outbound tourism boom is driving a more mature type of traveller who is seeks regular, independent travel, a new report has revealed.

In a major survey, Sabre found that travel is now becoming mainstream in the region, with four in five Asians now seeing travel as a necessity, rather than a luxury. And this is driving higher travel frequencies, with one in three Asians now travelling for leisure three or more times a year.

Sabre’s report also reveals that the majority of Asians now seek independent travel. Dividing respondents into four categories, Sabre found that the highest proportion (38%) are “Explorers”, who are self-orientated and like to take control of their own trips. The second largest group (23%) remains the typical group tourists, or

“Followers”, who prefer to be taken care of and use a holiday to spent time with other people. The remaining two categories – the “Connecters” (20%) and Opportunities (18%) – fall somewhere in between.

But taking more control of a trip does not come at the expense of external support; in fact the study found that almost two thirds of Asians (64%) expect to use a travel agency for their next trip.

“Barriers to travel in the region are breaking down… meaning traveller volumes are undisputedly on the rise. But traveller preferences are also evolving,” commented Todd Arthur, vice president of sales & market development for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. “Those who work in the industry are observing that serving travellers based on a traditional trip category alone, such as business or solo or senior travel, has limited value in today’s more dynamic market.”

Sabre studyThe Explorer category was the top traveller type in all 11 Asia Pacific markets surveyed: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.

But Connectors, who like to take control of their trips but also like to connect with other people, tend to be prevalent in Australia, Indonesia, Korea and New Zealand, while Opportunists, who are self-orientated by like to be taken care of, are common in China and Taiwan.

Finally the Followers are most likely to reside in Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

“Asia Pacific’s travel industry is booming. Not only are we the world’s largest travel market today but we are also one of the regions with the highest levels of projected growth. With this comes rapid evolution in the way people travel; their expectations, choices, likes and dislikes. We need to understand these changes to keep the travel industry players we serve at the forefront of this evolution,” stated Sabre Travel Network’s senior vice president for Asia Pacific, Roshan Mendis.

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