Analysis/Opinion: Travel Demand High in Asia and Sustainable Options Must be Convenient and Affordable

BANGKOK: India emerges top in expressing the wish to travel and while there is a strong overall desire to travel more sustainably, it comes with caveats. 

Factors such as cost and variety of sustainable stays play a part. Convenience and high satisfaction levels are more important than sustainability itself which impacts whether sustainable intent then translates into action, TTG ASIA reports.
The commissioned research by Booking.com polled 11,000 travelers from 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022, combined with their own data and insights over the past 25 years.
Booking.com’s APAC Travel Confidence Index gives a unique insight into how confident consumers feel about exploring the world again, the reports say.
India leads the way for most confidence with 86% of Indian travelers stating they intend to travel in the next 12 months. Followed closely by Vietnam.
As Asia starts to emerge from several years of strict border closures and lockdowns the results show a strong desire to travel.
elsewhere in Asia China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan ranked lower on the index in terms of overall confidence, although travel intent among respondents remained above 60%.
Singapore ranked sixth on the Travel Confidence Index, key factors that impacted Singapore’s standing in the index included general aversion towards any disruptions to their travel (65%), sharing personal information for public health and safety (57%), and personalization (45%).
When it came to looking at how far Singaporeans would travel, 69% of respondents stated that they planned to take trips (of up to eight hours flight) to popular holiday destinations closer to home, such as Thailand and Indonesia reported TYG ASIA.

The desire to travel remains strong among Asia-Pacific travelers overall, with ease of planning and booking travel, as well as cost, being the top two considerations. Both ranked consistently high across all markets, even as restrictions continue to ease around the region.
The desire to “just get away” (46%) also emerged as the top motivator to travel for Asia-Pacific consumers after two years of lockdowns and a rapidly evolving travel landscape; followed closely by a “getaway to recharge mentally” for 36% of respondents.
For Thailand, such retreats were the prime motivator for an overwhelming 76% of respondents, a percentage far higher than any other market.
Across the region, only 13% indicated that work was a reason for them to book a trip.

According to Booking.com’s 2022 Sustainable Travel Report, 81% of global travelers affirm that sustainable travel is important to them.
India once again topped the index in terms of intent to travel sustainably, with 93% of respondents agreeing on the importance of making sustainable travel decisions.
But for travelers from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, cost and a wide variety of sustainable stay options are important considerations when it comes to making sustainable travel decisions. Singapore showed a strong belief in the need to prioritize sustainable travel, with 77% of respondents indicating its importance. For the Singaporean traveler though, a combination of having a variety of sustainable options conveniently accessible at a good price point was key.
Together with sustainability measures undertaken by properties transparently displayed would go far in empowering them to make sustainable travel decisions. Cruises however look depressed with just 9% of respondents indicating that they would book one.
By: Andrew J. Wood, Guest analysis
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