Klook’s Travel Pulse survey revealed that travellers are ready to spend big on travel. One in three millennial and Gen Z travellers are willing to spend more than double of the average monthly income in Asia (US$1,069) on their next holiday, which amounts to US$2,000 and more.
The survey was conducted in July this year with a total of 2,400 respondents across 12 markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Mainland China and India.
Eric Gnock Fah, chief operating officer and co-founder of Klook, said: “Embracing a new era of travel, experiences have emerged as a new coveted currency for the next generation of travellers, particularly among millennials and Gen Zs. Unique experiences and activities take precedence in their travel plans as the first thing they look at, with 85% of travellers willing to invest in experiences during their holidays.
“This remarkable shift is a testament to their increasing desire for authentic experiences, with their decisions fuelled by social media over traditional sources like search engines and travel guides before embarking on their next travel adventure.”
Experiences are millennials’ and Gen Zs’ new travel currency
As travel becomes more intentional, a majority of travellers are also prioritising experiences and making them a focal point of their trip, with 63% booking their experiences before they fly.
More than 90% of millennials and Gen Zs place importance on unique and memorable experiences during their travels, with 85% signalling a willingness to invest in them during their holiday. Notably, travellers from Thailand, Vietnam, Mainland China, and India lead the pack across Asia-Pacific, with a strong desire to spend more on nature and outdoor experiences like island tours, and cultural experiences such as visiting historical sites.
Surprisingly, Gen Zs, who are just beginning to embark on their careers, are not far behind their millennial counterparts in splurging on travel. One in five Gen Zs are willing to spend over US$3,000, slightly trailing one in four millennials who share the same sentiment. The biggest spenders across Asia-Pacific emerge from Mainland China (58%) and Hong Kong (39%), taking the top spots in willingness to spend beyond US$3,000 on their next holiday.
More price-conscious travellers originate from India, Vietnam, and the Philippines with the majority willing to spend below US$2,000, still more than double their average monthly income.
Social media will soon overtake traditional sources
Social media is the top inspiration tool for Gen Z travellers, with more than half using the platform to discover new destinations and experiences, favouring it over search engines and travel guides. While millennials still prefer to use search engines (59%), social media comes a very close second (55%) indicating its rising influence over how travellers seek out information.
In fact, nine out of 10 millennials and Gen Zs check online reviews before making their bookings, and rely on travel content recommendations on social media when planning holidays. Findings show that creating social media-worthy content is of utmost importance for a large majority of travellers (87%) – especially for travellers from India, the Philippines and Mainland China – and one of the main reasons for travel.
“The rise of social media as a travel inspiration and planning tool is largely due to their interactive nature, especially with short-form videos and mobile apps,” shared Fah.
“It has undeniably become a powerful and dynamic source of travel inspiration among millennials and Gen Zs. This lies in its ability to offer authentic storytelling and personalised real-time recommendations. This paradigm shift is indicative for the demographic’s desire for meaningful connections and seamless exploration.”
Millennials and Gen Zs opt for more intentional shorthaul trips
Majority of millennials and Gen Zs across Asia-Pacific are becoming more intentional travel planners, with 65% planning their holidays at least two to six months in advance. Travellers ranking highest among this bracket come from Singapore (74%) and Australia (57%), while nearly half of travellers from Mainland China, Vietnam, and Thailand prefer to make holiday plans in less than two months.
Additionally, millennials and Gen Zs are increasingly opting to travel closer to home domestically (60%) and within Asia-Pacific (30%). The top three destinations on the travel wish list are Japan, Thailand and Singapore. These findings indicate a rising trend of younger explorers putting focus on the desire to explore and seek new experiences over the actual destination itself.