Survey reports steady growth in travel for Asia Pacific
Friday, August 08, 2008：The recent release of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Travel has predicted sound development in outbound travel numbers in the Asia Pacific for the rest of the year.
This prediction is in spite of the difficulties that inflation is posing in across the region.
Strong growth has been forecasted for Singapore, with a year-on-year prediction of 23% growth, which alludes to over four million departures for both leisure and business travel in the next six months.
Health growth compared to 2007 is also expected for China, who are forecasted to develop at 12%, Korea at 11%, Thailand at 10% and Hong Kong at 6%.
“In spite of global economic uncertainty and rising inflation, outbound travel in Asia/Pacific is poised for steady growth over the rest of 2008,” said Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong.
“This is largely due to the fact than income and employment have not been seriously affected by the global credit crunch; and higher inflation has yet to translate into higher prices in plane tickets and costs of accommodation,” he continued.
Dr Hedrick-Wong warned, “Should these conditions change, however, the outlook will be very different.”
There are an anticipated 88.3 million residential departures in the next six months from the Asia Pacific, with Malaysia and China accounting for half of the numbers.
The report also revealed that Japan remains the most popular destination for personal travel within the Asia Pacific, with Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong closely following, and Europe and North America topped the list for destinations outside the Asia Pacific.
Australia was ousted from its traditional ranking of second place by Thailand.
The MasterCard Worldwide survey found that out of the 13 markets considered, China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam have experienced increased personal travel habits as opposed to six months ago.
Personal travel for the Thai population has increased from 55 percent to 66 percent, which is considerably closer to the 70 percent mark that was recorded a year ago.
Furthermore, the travelling demographic seems to be leaning towards women, where 39 percent of females made personal trips in the past year, as opposed to 33 percent of males surveyed.
Following tradition, the majority of personal travel occurs with friends and family, although travelling alone remains popular in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand.
Overseas travel for business purposes was found to have slightly declined; with the most frequently visited destinations for business travel were found to be China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
Business travel continues to be a male-orientated market, with 22 percent of males travelling as opposed to 14 percent of females, except in the Singaporean, Malaysian, Australian and New Zealand markets, where women travelled more than men for business reasons.
The preferred airline for the past seven surveys was Singapore Airlines, but it dropped to second in this study, with Thai Airways triumphing.
Global warming was assessed as a factor depressing travel demand, with seven in ten travellers that felt global warming affected their travel plans deciding to travel less as a result.