Travel experience company Collinson has shared new data and insights into the latest trends and expected travel habits of travellers across Asia Pacific. The research reveals that easing travel restrictions across the region has boosted international leisure travel, although demand for corporate travel remains low.
The findings come from a survey of over 5,000 frequent travellers across seven major Asia Pacific markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
Looking at travel for the remainder of 2022, the study suggests a marginal improvement year-on-year in terms of the percentage of travellers undertaking frequent trips.
The survey shows that travellers who averaged six return trips pre-pandemic are beginning to return to the skies, with an average of three self-predicted return trips planned for 2022.
However, with many countries across the Asia Pacific allowing easier movement in recent times, Collinson predicts the pent-up demand among travellers is likely to result in a further spike in trips this year across the region.
Planned trips on the horizon
With summer in the northern hemisphere ushering in the peak travel season, Collinson expects to see a rise in travel around the region as people start planning their vacations. Although the majority of these trips are expected to be domestic leisure trips, 55 percent of respondents have expressed an interest in travelling outside of their home market for at least one trip.
According to the same survey, the number of people who are willing to undertake international travel has grown by nearly +10 percent since 2021.,, Domestic leisure travel growth remains steady at +3 percent for the same period.
The study found that business travel is the form of travel that has been impacted the most. On one hand, nearly 70 percent of travellers have booked at least one leisure trip in 2022, but this sits at less than 50 percent for corporate travel.
Overall, across all forms of travel, the number of return trips is seeing a gradual increase. Whilst this shows signs of positivity, the survey revealed concerns remain around returning to travel, with 61 percent of the research respondents indicating that the pandemic continues to have a discouraging effect on their air travel.
Travel anxieties continue to linger
Despite people committing to travel in 2022, the study suggests that a large portion of travel hesitation seems to stem from people’s unwillingness to spend time inside an airport. Close to half of respondents (42 percent) indicated having anxiety about picking up infections while at the airport.
Many fear that crowds at the airport may lead to another outbreak, while others want to avoid the logistical hassles that come with travelling in the new normal procedures – including mask-wearing, travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, and more. However, Collinson noted a promising recovery trend from the data, which reveals that a little over 10 percent of people still feel unsafe about travel.
Airport lounges aiding the journey
The survey also found that airport lounges are seen as key in curbing travel anxiety – on average, travellers regard lounge access as the number one most desirable travel benefit at the airport. In markets such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, some 55 percent of respondents selected that they “feel valued as a customer” as their number one reaction when they are granted access to a lounge as a reward benefit.
A further 41 percent also agreed that lounge access makes them feel safer when undertaking air travel. However, these numbers are significantly higher in markets such as China and India, where borders have largely remained closed in 2022. In China, for example, 64 percent admit that being in a lounge makes them feel safer, whilst slightly less than 70 percent believe that having access to a lounge makes them feel valued.
(Source: The Moodie Davitt Report )