Domestic tourism is reigning in APAC

Asia-Pacific’s domestic travel market is having its moment, as evidenced by domestic travel searches in the region eclipsing that of international searches, according to a ForwardKeys report.

In the period between July to September, travel that is taking place in the Asia-Pacific region is predominately domestic travel, with searches strongly reflecting this trend. In fact, domestic travel searches in Asia-Pacific are currently more dominant than international searches.

Holiday travel in Asia-Pacific has been led by domestic activity, with Vietnam emerging the region’s top performer with a 8.9 per cent growth this summer; cherry apricot trees lining dirt road in Da Lat Plateau, Vietnam pictured

The numbers are double, and even triple, in some cases such as in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea when compared to 2019.

These findings were presented during a hotel revenue management webinar co-hosted by ForwardKeys and IDeAS Revenue Solutions in Singapore to help hospitality players bounce back from Covid-19.

Focusing on the Asia-Pacific region, the latest ForwardKeys travel data highlighted the might and possibilities of further growing the domestic travel market during this “survival of the fittest” period.

The star of the region now is Vietnam. Domestic flight searches are converting to future bookings, with the South-east Asian nation showing a growth of 8.9 per cent this summer, according to tickets issued as of July 15, while others in the region still lag behind.

Closer inspection of the flight search data showed a growing demand among domestic tourists for smaller destinations in Vietnam, like Qui Nhon, Dalat, Phu Quoc, and Nha Trang.

With new cases of Covid-19 rearing its ugly head in parts of Asia again, travel trends have been thrown out of whack. Gone are the days of planning trip months in advance, with ForwardKeys data revealing that booking lead time has been dramatically cut shorter. In China, Vietnam, and South Korea, it’s now down to zero to four days prior to flying.

No longer are last-minute bookers a small percentage of industry stakeholders’ marketing efforts – but in some cases, it’s their only chance to capture new customers. And with foreign and longhaul source markets showing real interest only from 1Q2021, businesses need to make the most of its local markets.

For those planning afar, it appears that despite all the drama and debacle in the UK regarding flight restrictions, quarantine, and the rise in new Covid-19 cases, the English are still dreaming of a slice of Asia-Pacific paradise in Australia and Thailand.

Thailand is high on the bucket list for holidaymakers in France, Germany, and the UK. Jameson Wong, Asia-Pacific business development director of ForwardKeys, said: “People are expecting that Covid-19 will be controlled in major Asia-Pacific destinations by (1Q2021) so they can finally travel to longhaul destinations from Europe.”

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