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Wanderlust Over Wallets: Travel Confidence Holds up For Over Half of APAC Travellers Despite Economic Headwinds

SINGAPORE, 3 JULY 2023 – Booking.com, one of the world’s leading online travel companies, has released the 2023 edition of its APAC Travel Confidence Index (TCI) today. In light of prevailing macroeconomic realities, the report provides an in-depth analysis of travel mindsets across Asia-Pacific (APAC). It reveals a striking paradox: despite financial concerns ranking highest among their worries (42%), an astounding 73% of APAC travellers maintain unwavering optimism for their future travel plans over the next 12 months.

Over half (53%) of travellers surveyed have no intention of postponing any of their travel plans, despite the complex and interconnected crises pressuring the global economy, including inflation, climate change and supply chain disruptions. Even more impressive, 59% of these travellers not only remain steadfast in their original travel plans, but also intend to increase both the number of trips they take and their travel budgets for the year.

The TCI 2023 research, commissioned by Booking.com and conducted independently by Milieu Insight, involved a survey of over 8,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories across APAC, including Singapore, conducted between April and May 2023.

It presents an in-depth analysis of travel confidence and sustainability interest across various destinations in APAC. The report includes rankings that assess the confidence level of travellers in each market, with Singapore ranking fourth (4th).

Additionally, the report unveils four distinctive traveller personas for the first time, providing valuable insights into their prime motivations, priorities and travel behaviours:

  • Conscious Explorers (Hong Kong, India, China, Taiwan) actively pursue eco-friendly and sustainable travel. They are passionate about exploring while minimising environmental impact. They engage in ecotourism, stay at sustainable accommodations, and support local communities to align with their values. 
  • Comfort Seekers (Singapore, Australia) prioritise comfort and convenience. They seek indulgent experiences and accommodations with maximum relaxation. They value personalised services, high-quality amenities, and prioritise comfort over sustainability in their travel decisions.
  • Mindful Voyagers (Vietnam) have a deliberate and thoughtful travel approach, driven by their sense of responsibility to the environment and desire to help local communities. However, they often experience anxieties in unfamiliar environments and actively seek resources to overcome travel concerns and gain confidence.
  • Homebound Pragmatists (New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Thailand) prefer practical travel and staying close to home. They prioritise convenience, efficiency, and optimising time and resources. They seek seamless travel experiences that are well-organised and efficient, making the most of their limited time and resources.

"Despite some macroeconomic headwinds, one thing remains clear for all APAC travellers: their spirit of adventure and the desire to create lasting memories via travel remains steadfast and strong,” said Laura Houldsworth, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, at Booking.com. "Despite the profound impact of the pandemic, insights from this year’s Travel Confidence Index reassuringly proves that Asia-Pacific is well on its way to reclaim its position as the world’s fastest growing travel region1. As travellers around the world continue to navigate uncertainties and the rising cost of living, Booking.com remains committed to making it easier for travellers across Asia-Pacific to search, book and enjoy their perfect vacation and better experience the world.” 

Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted by Milieu Insight among a sample of 8,800 respondents across 11 countries and territories across APAC (800 each from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam). 

In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older. 

The study computed an index which was based on specific metrics such as willingness to travel, potential travel spend, duration, number of intended trips, and notably, travel propensity given the current macroeconomic state. Other areas that the study explored are travel and booking considerations, views on sustainability, and other market-specific questions.

Rankings were determined using a two-axis framework, which evaluated travel confidence and sustainability interest across APAC, based on the positions of countries above or below the zero point on each axis. Placement on the axes reflect scores that are relative to other markets and are not normative - this means that there is no standard cut off for scores to be considered as ‘high’ or ‘low’. Instead, these rankings provide comparative insights into the varying levels of sustainability interest and travel confidence across the included markets.

The survey was taken online and took place between March 29 and April 7, 2023.