Australia and Japan claimed a shared first place in Visa’s international travel survey. The countries were consistently ranked as top Asia-Pacific travel destinations, with one-fifth of respondents keen to holiday in either country. The survey polled frequent travellers from the United States and other international destinations, featuring people aged over 18 years who had booked a trip recently.
Residents of Thailand, Hong Kong, and Mainland China favoured Japan for international travel, claiming that its combination of high-tech cities and natural beauty makes it one of Asia’s leading holiday destinations. Australia ranked highly for similar reasons, albeit with a different audience – residents of the United States, New Zealand, and Britain voted for the country in record numbers.
Climbing into third place, China has gained favour from travellers throughout the Pacific. With low accommodation costs and some of the world’s largest cities along its Eastern coastline, the country’s economic growth has contributed to a boom in international tourism. Visitors from within Asia still make up most of China’s international visitor count, although it is gaining momentum in the West.
Travel habits are of great importance to companies within the Pacific region, as the growing income levels in many countries in the region have lead to an increase in international travel. Key sectors of growth include Thailand and Malaysia, where residents can now afford to travel internationally due to the prevalence of low-cost air carriers and online hotel booking services in the region.
These services can make previously unaffordable destinations such as Japan or Australia within the financial reach of families in the region’s many high-growth developing countries. With marketing budgets tight and occupancy rates relatively low, such information on travel intentions is becoming more valuable to marketers and service-driven travel firms in the region.