Asia-Pacific travel rush driven by reconnection desire: Hilton study

A recent study by Hilton reveals that Asia-Pacific consumers are quickly embracing travel once more with renewed motivations: to rebuild family bonds, and to revive the body and soul.

New data from the survey conducted with nearly 6,000 respondents across Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India show that families cannot wait to travel together after two years of closed borders, mandated restrictions, and streamlined social circles.

Asia-Pacific consumers are prioritising trips to focus on family bonding

Travellers from this region are prioritising trips with their nearest and dearest, choosing spouses and significant others as their top travel companion (43%), followed by their children of all ages (38%), parents (25%) and extended family members (23%).

Renewed priorities
While health, safety and cleanliness remain a top priority, family travellers across all six markets are ever more motivated to be together. Besides traveling as a group, family travellers are also looking for ways to spend more time together while on holiday. This new emphasis on togetherness is not only reflected in choosing pastimes, but also in preferred room arrangements – highlighting the importance for travellers to consider where they stay.

Singaporeans (60%), Malaysians (57%) and Australians (51%) now place a lot more thought in planning family-friendly activities during trips, as respondents from these markets list finding activities that everyone in the family will enjoy among their top travel concerns.

When it comes to deciding which hotel or resort to book, family-friendly facilities and activity offerings within the property are also a top priority, especially for family travellers from Indonesia (60%) and Malaysia (59%), followed by Singapore (49%), India (47%) Thailand (45%) and Australia (40%).

For markets such as Singapore (66%), Australia (61%) and India (57%), confirmed room upgrades before departure are an important hotel and resort offering, minimising any uncertainty and giving families greater peace of mind.

Travellers from Singapore (30%), India (27%) and Indonesia (25%) prefer connecting rooms for easier access to family bonding activities and to make up for lost time.

Maximising each stay
While the pent-up travel demand is real, additional market insights by Hilton show that the increasing price of travel is also a growing concern and potential barrier in this recovery climate, further putting a spotlight on where customers choose to stay.

Cost of travel was ranked as the top travel obstacle for travellers from Malaysia (57%), Indonesia (49%) and Australia (41%), which ranks higher than their concern over health risks (Malaysia 51%, Indonesia 40%, Australia 34%).

Travellers from Thailand, Singapore and India reported that concern over travel costs (44%, 43%, 40%) are at similar levels as health risks (47%, 44%, 41%), respectively.

Compounded stress during the pandemic has taken a toll on couples as they turn to travel to reignite the romance. This puts increasing importance for travellers to consider where they stay to create the most meaningful connections while on vacation. Having a romantic meal with their spouse or significant other consistently ranks high (#2) among other preferred activities when they have alone time while traveling with family.

However, parents hoping to steal a moment to themselves while on vacation may find it a challenge to keep the kids entertained. Screens are the go-to distraction to keep children entertained, but as the survey reveals, there are differences in parenting styles and attitudes towards screen time for kids. While some families enjoy sharing screen time with their children, others may experience the pressure to limit screen time.

Across all markets, about 96% of parents inevitably allow their children some amount of screen time to keep them occupied while on vacation.

Respondents with kids, particularly 51% of parents in Thailand and India, share that they feel some amount of guilt for allowing their children to use their devices.

Bonding over food
Survey findings also show that family travellers are looking forward to sitting down together with good food that everyone will enjoy, reflecting how the simple act of sharing a family meal together after years of restrictions carries deeper significance.

Across all six markets, having a variety of F&B offerings on-property is a top-of-mind consideration (#1) when booking hotels and resorts. This translates to an array of selections to satisfy everyone.

The full Hilton’s 2022 Global Trends Report can be viewed here.

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