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Holiday travel intent rises 240%

News, 08 February 2016

SINGAPORE: As Chinese New Year gets underway on Monday, a new report has shown that the festive period has helped to boost regional week-on-week travel intent by 240%.

According to the Asian segment of a global Q4 2015 report from Sojern, a data-based travel marketing platform, consumers in Asia-Pacific are also cutting their search times ahead of making a booking, Digital Market Asia reported.

Almost a fifth (17%) of Asian consumers searched for trips up to seven days in advance of travel, up from 15% in the previous quarter, while the proportion of travellers planning 60+ days in advance fell slightly to 39% from 41%.

October was the busiest month for both search (37%) and bookings (38%) over the last quarter of 2015, a finding which also could be useful for marketers looking to plan ahead for the Lunar New Year in 2017.

Japan, Thailand and China are the top three travel destinations for Asian travellers planning to observe this Chinese New Year, while Tokyo, Bangkok and Osaka are the most popular holiday cities.

"The travel industry is making massive investments to improve processes and experiences for travellers from around the world, but lack real-time knowledge about travel interest and intent amongst consumers in the region," said Stewart Hunter, director for Sojern Asia Pacific.

Writing for Marketing Interactive, he went on to outline five key observations for marketers seeking to make the most from Chinese New Year travellers in Asia-Pacific.

Understanding their intentions is crucial, he said. For example, while Japan may be the preferred destination for travellers across the region, data shows that Singapore is the top destination for travellers from Hong Kong over the holiday period.

Timing and knowing when prospective travellers begin their planning is also key, Hunter added. As seen, October is a busy month for this activity, but Sojern's data reveals that this is particularly so in Taiwan.

On top of knowing the top destinations, marketers should also work on the reasons for travel. For example, many Singaporeans travel to Malaysia immediately after the first day of the New Year to visit extended family.

In addition, many travellers in the region are looking to extend their Chinese New Year trips, so marketers should cater for that intention.

Finally, marketers need to gain insights into why people are using this time of year to travel. Many travel to see their families, but then there are others who simply want to get away for a short break.

Above all, Hunter said, marketers should transform travel intent data "into smart, targeted campaigns where you're always talking to the right travellers, at the right time, with the right message".

Data sourced from Digital Market Asia, Marketing Interactive; additional content by Warc staff