Is APAC’s travel outlook for 2022 still gloomy?

Samuel TanAPAC Data Journalist / B2B Content Manager
February 06, 2022, 9:00 PM GMT+0

COVID-19 has hit the travel and tourism industry hard. According to data from FlightGlobal, international passenger numbers in November 2021 reached only 5% of pre-pandemic levels. And with the emergence of the Omicron variant, latest data from YouGov shows that 25% of APAC consumers are delaying their travel booking, while some 15% are either considering cancelling their travel plans or have already done so.

But is the outlook for travel in APAC still gloomy?

In a recent YouGov webinar presented by Eva Stewart, Global Sector Head of Travel & Tourism, we analyse leisure and business travel sentiments in APAC and the audience segments driving demand in 2022. The webinar also examines what travellers from APAC are looking out for when choosing destinations to visit this year, and which region offers the biggest potential source of tourists to APAC.

Joining Eva is a panel featuring YouGov’s local travel research experts in APAC, including Regional Marketing Director for APAC and MENAI Holly Fung, APAC Head of Commercial Ervin Ha, APAC Head of Research Elodie Causier, Australia Head of Products Angela Smith and India General Manager Deepa Bhatia.

Here are some highlights from the webinar:

Domestic travel is poised for a strong comeback in 2022

Latest data from YouGov Global Travel Profiles shows that over half of APAC consumers have domestic leisure trips planned for 2022. This ranges from more than 60% of consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, over 50% of consumers in China, India and Australia, and more than 40% of consumers in the Philippines and Japan. Demand for international travel, while lower, is above 20% in most APAC markets – except for China (10%) and Japan (5%). This data gives travel marketers a head start as they assign their spending for the first quarter of 2022.

To learn more about consumer attitudes on the top obstacles to travel in specific APAC markets, watch the full webinar here.

A sizeable number of APAC consumers keen on travelling in 2022 are planning three or more trips

Among APAC consumers who intend to travel locally this year, a significant 29% of them are planning three or more trips in 2022. And among those looking to travel abroad, APAC consumers planning three or more international trips represent a sizeable 43%. These frequent travellers are an attractive segment for travel companies looking to grow customer loyalty across trips.
Travel booking history is no longer a good indicator of future travel behaviour. To learn why, watch the full webinar here.

Luxury and adventurous travellers are driving demand for international travel

We broke down APAC consumers who intend to take an international trip this year by traveller preferences and found that 42% of them identify as vacationers who looked for luxury experiences abroad (e.g., 5-star hotels). Adventurous travellers seeking mainly outdoor excitement (30%) and package travellers looking for all-inclusive tours/cruises (30%) also made up a significant proportion. Additionally, 26% of APAC consumers identify as responsible travellers (e.g. environmentally-conscious, culturally-minded, wellness-focused), while budget travellers formed some 21% of APAC consumers.

To find out the top traveller preferences in each APAC market, watch the full webinar here.

Travellers from APAC seek good value for money, outstanding natural beauty and appropriate safety measures

When it comes to why APAC consumers choose certain travel destinations, the top factors are whether a potential holiday location offers good value for money (37%), outstanding natural beauty (32%) and appropriate safety measures with regards to cleanliness and crowd levels (30%). Other key factors include whether a destination was recommended by someone (24%), is close to cultural and historical sites (23%) and where family/friends live (23%), as well as its sustainability and conservation policies (12%).
See which factors are most important to travellers from different APAC markets. Watch the full webinar here.

The EMEA region offers the biggest potential source of tourists to APAC in 2022

The latest data from YouGov Global Travel Profiles shows that, as of January 2022, EMEA consumers exhibit the highest intent to travel internationally for leisure (37%), followed by consumers in the Americas (18%) and APAC (17%). Additionally, data from YouGov DestinationIndex also provides key insights into how travel sentiments in specific EMEA markets towards various APAC destinations have trended over the past year.

To learn about current perceptions of APAC destinations in key inbound European markets, watch the full webinar here.

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To read YouGov’s latest intelligence on the travel industry explore here.