Eighty eight percent of travelers based in Asia Pacific feel their 'love of travel is a huge part of how they define themselves', with three in four aspiring to be a 'travel expert in their social circle', reveals a recent study by Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest loyalty program of global travel and hospitality brand Hilton. The research, surveying 2,300 avid travelers aged between 20-45 in 11 Asia Pacific countries and segmented by life stage, explored the travel motivations, aspirations and expectations of the region's most active travelers.
The 2019 study, comprising an extensive quantitative survey of travelers aged 20-45 and in-depth interviews with Gen Y travel taste-makers, revealed three key themes: travel and the role it plays in identity, technology and the future of travel, and the importance of experiential travel:
Travel and Identity
Defined by Travel: Eighty-nine percent feel 'being able to travel is a point of pride for me', with 88% saying their 'love of travel is a huge part of how they define themselves'. This was even more important for Young Families, defined as 20-35-year-old couples with children (91%), Singles (85%) and Couples (82 percent). The sentiment of travel being formative to identity is strongest in Indonesia (97%), India (95%), Philippines (94%), Thailand (94%) and Vietnam (92%).
The Antidote to Ignorance: When it comes to the personal benefits of travel, there is a sense that it empowers people to feel more 'knowledgeable' (55%) and 'open-minded' (51%). One survey respondent shared: "As the comedian Trevor Noah said "Traveling is the antidote to ignorance." What truly motivates me to travel is the excitement, the urge to experience different cultures, food, to meet new people and live their lives for those few days. As the quote says, traveling is the solution to ignorance".
Technology and the Future of Travel
Traditional sources of information, such as word-of-mouth (55%), online travel publications (50%), official tourism websites and the social media accounts of friends and family (both 49%), serve as travel inspiration for travelers today. However, travelers in Asia Pacific see a clear role for technology tomorrow - with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) being essential in delivering a more fun and immersive experience:
Virtual Fun: Two in five travelers believe that the use of VR and AR could help make travel more fun in the future. Forty-five percent also saw the potential of virtual/inanimate influencers as a source of influence for their next destination.
Immersive Inspiration: One in two travelers would be enticed by 'virtual or augmented reality' tours of their destination to get inspiration for their holiday.
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