A survey of more than 8,000 travellers globally, including 2,461 travellers in China, Indonesia and Thailand, reveals a growing appetite for overseas travel as countries reopen, that has not been dampened by rising living costs.
Across the three countries polled in Asia-Pacific, 71% of travellers in China and 56% in both Indonesia and Thailand, said that inflation had “no impact” to “moderate impact” in their decision when planning and evaluating the cost of travel. Respondents who cite a “moderate impact” also stated that cheap accommodation rates are not the most important factor when booking their travel.
The annual Changing Traveller Report 2022 by SiteMinder also found that about half of respondents – 48% of travellers in China and Thailand and 52% of travellers in Indonesia – intend to travel “internationally or domestically” over the next 12 months. Millennials form the largest segment who plan to travel, accounting for 58% of travellers in Indonesia, followed by 56% in China and 52% in Thailand.
Insights from SiteMinder’s 2022 Changing Traveller Report showed the following:
Importance of social media presence
Gen Z are most likely to be influenced by the social media presence of the property they book, compared to other age groups. Thai travellers are most influenced by social media, with 78% of respondents saying they are “very influenced” or “influenced” by the property’s social media presence in their booking decision, followed by 75% in China and 74% in Indonesia. In fact, respondents in every age group agree they are all influenced by the social media accounts of the accommodation they book.
Mixing business with leisure
Bleisure continues to be a growing trend with 49% of Gen Z global travellers most likely to take a working holiday, followed by 46% of millennials. 65% of Thai travellers, almost two in every three, are the leaders in bleisure travel, followed by 62% of Indonesia travellers and 47% of Chinese travellers. In fact, a quarter or more of travellers from every country surveyed in the report will be bleisure travellers on their next trip.
Travellers are likely to change their perception of the accommodation provider if they have a negative customer experience when accessing and using the accommodation provider website, for example if the website is slow or the payment process is not secure. A high proportion of travellers – 89% in China, 72% in Indonesia and 75% in Thailand – said they are “very likely” or “likely” to change their perception when the accommodation provider is not using technology effectively.
The future of automation
The use of AI and robots by accommodation providers to replace hospitality professionals is also well accepted with 86% of travellers in China, 85% of travellers in Thailand and 76% of travellers in Indonesia saying they are “very supportive” or “supportive” of accommodation providers using AI and robots to automate previous human work processes.
Sankar Narayan, managing director and CEO of SiteMinder, said: “We can see that optimism is returning from travellers to the tourism sector, and there is demand for travel as travel restrictions and health concerns abate across the world. Despite inflation and rising costs, travellers are reporting they are undeterred and do not intend to cancel their travel plans, which is a positive sign for accommodation industry resilience and travel globally, particularly in Asia.
“The long-awaited recovery of travel has also emerged with a new type of traveller, who has higher expectations from hotels and their travel experiences than ever. We can see that, more than ever, travellers now have ambitions to book, travel, work, connect, and experience the world with the greatest flexibility and security possible.”
For more insights, read the full report here.