Covid-19 not only wrecked global tourism in the first half of 2020, but has also radically changed consumer behaviors. As the industry is seeing signs of recovery while transitioning to a new normal, a joint report recently released by Trip.com Group and Google sheds light on consumer behaviors and attitudes toward tourism in Asia Pacific and reveals consumers’ reactions to changes in the travel industry and the trends for coming months.
The report indicates that after searches for travel across the globe hit rock bottom in the first half of 2020, signs of increases are now visible. Travel interest began to pick up in May and the consumer demand for certain tourism products has returned to the level of the same period of last year since July.
Consumer confidence in travel differs depending on the state of the pandemic at consumers’ home base. More than 30% of the consumers in Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines are optimistic that they could make a trip within this year, while others, especially those from Japan, are taking a wait-and-see attitude.
Top tourist destinations post-Covid-19
Interest in domestic short-haul trips has increased rapidly, by 400% since January. An increasing number of consumers choose short-haul destinations. As of the end of June, more than 70% of Trip.com platform users only searched destinations in Asia Pacific.
While consumers in Asia Pacific are still interested in global destinations, they prefer destinations within the region. From January to June, Japan and Korea were the top choices for short-haul trips. Themed tours, such as leisure travel, family and outdoor tours were increasing popularity.
Security guarantees and flexible cancellation polices become standard
As trips are shortening, tourists in Asia Pacific prefer prepayments. Bookings of prepaid products have grown 4% since the beginning of this year, reflecting a preference for flexibility.
The report also shows that 57% of the consumers consider free cancellation as the most important factor for making a repeat reservation. Another 27% are drawn by discounted advance-purchase products, while 25% take insurance into consideration.
Click here to download the original report (in Chinese)