asia pacific map

The appetite of Asians for leisure travel remains strong despite expected global downtrend, and mainland Chinese will lead the region in travel frequency fuelled by a strong renminbi, reveals Travelzoo Asia Pacific in its annual regional subscriber survey.

The survey on trends, which will shape this year’s leisure travel, forecasted average travel frequency in the region to increase to 4.5 from 3.6 of last year. Regional spending will also see a similar growth of around 23% over that of last year.

Findings on regional markets:

Australia: Australian travellers will be the biggest spenders in 2013 – average spend US$8,867 compared to last year’s US$6,877 and travelling 3.8 times from 2.8 times in 2012.

China: Mainland Chinese subscribers will travel the most this year, making an average of 6.9 leisure trips from 4.2 in 2012 that includes getaways and long-haul holidays. Second biggest spenders after the Australians, 20% more than last year amounting to US$7,117 on average.

Hong Kong: Travellers from Hong Kong will spend 22% more, but travel slightly less in 2013. Average spend of US$5,909, reduction in average trip to 4.2 from last year’s 5. Inflation and stronger overseas currency may be key reasons for the slight drop in travel.

Japan: The Japanese’ desire to travel continues to remain strong with average of 4.7 trips compared to 3.4 last year. The weaker Japanese yen and the resurgence of inbound travel after the tsunami, with less discounted deals for local travellers, will see spending remain flat at US$4,342 this year.

Taiwan: Taiwanese travellers, like their Australian and mainland Chinese counterparts, will travel and spend more – at 3 times and US$4,050 respectively.

Other key findings:

• Mainland Chinese subscribers love Australia as it remains their favourite destination. Maldives and Thailand are becoming increasingly popular at second and third spot respectively. A stronger renminbi, rising inflation within China and the allure of exotic foreign travel are reasons for the choice of foreign destinations over domestic travel. However, the desire to holiday in Japan fell drastically due to the prevailing tensions between the two countries.

• Hong Kong and Taiwanese subscribers continue to choose Japan as their favourite destination undeterred by radiation fears. The recent depreciation of Japanese yen will continue to attract shoppers and travellers.

• Australian subscribers rank domestic travel as their favourite.

• Japanese subscribers like the US to spend their leisure holidays.

• Beach holidays rank as the top holiday activity for almost half of Travelzoo Asia Pacific subscribers.

• Self-drive holidays are the second most desired holidays for mainland Chinese subscribers. Niche holidays, such as photography vacationsa and safaris among their top 10 desired holiday activities, show their desire and sophistication for unique and adventurous experiences. They also enjoy the flexibility of solo travel, with 41% saying they will travel alone for leisure in 2013, up from the 28% in 2012.

• Subscribers are becoming more mobile savvy with many making their travel booking via the Internet. A PhoCusWright study showed travel bookings in China will surpass US$105 billion in 2013, of which more than US$15 billion will be made online. It also estimates the online travel market will grow by some 500% between 2008 and 2013.

• Over 60% of Travelzoo Asia Pacific subscribers used mobile Internet while travelling in 2012. Hong Kong is in the forefront with 83% of the island’s subscribers using their smart phones to navigate routes, discover restaurants and communicate via messages. About 31% subscribers completed a travel booking using their mobiles, which leads the regional average of 26% and just behind Japan’s 34%.

Top destinations by markets


Top holidays by markets