With rising affluence, Asians travel farther and take longer trips

Asian Woman Enjoying the Moment, Loma del Plieque Tumbado, Patagonia, El Chalten, Argentina

Rising affluence among a new generation of Asia-Pacific consumers is estimated to add nearly 90 million new travellers by 2025, with travellers more likely to take longhaul trips as income levels gradually rise, according to the Visa Business and Economic Insights Global Travel Study conducted with Oxford Economics.

“Travel patterns are changing among Asia-Pacific consumers. As household income growth continue to outpace economic growth in most countries in the region, overseas travel is not only becoming more common, people are also travelling more often and looking at further destinations such as Europe and the US,” said Glenn Maguire, principal Asia Pacific economist, Visa.

An Asian traveller on the Loma del Pliegue Tumbado trail in Patagonia, Argentina

In Visa’s analysis of 250 cities around the world, it was shown that once a city achieves critical mass of travelling-class household, the likelihood for increased overseas travel rises significantly.

Asia-Pacific households now account for one in three global travelling households, up from one out of four in 2006.

In the case of China, the number of cities reaching the tipping point in cross-border tourism is likely to double by 2025, adding nearly 80 million more households to the global travelling class.

Within the affluent in Asia-Pacific, Singapore travellers have the highest propensity (52%) for longhaul travel. Even among markets with growing middle-income households such as Indonesia (38%) and India (13%), regional travel destinations are becoming popular in line with income growth.

Maguire added: “As more Asia-Pacific consumers begin exploring beyond their national borders, these present opportunities as well as challenges for the tourism industry including travel providers and infrastructure operators including airports, hotels and attractions.

“Our analysis shows that China’s major cities have emerged as key Asia-Pacific destinations. This highlights the fact that China is becoming an increasingly important inbound market, as well as providing the majority of outbound tourist flows. This trend will continue as tourism infrastructure in China develops further.

Outside of Asia-Pacific, international destinations for Haj pilgrimage often marks the first international trip made by Asia-Pacific’s emerging travelling class, he continued.

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