Australia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with nominal GDP per capita ranking 5th in the world. Australian travelers are also heavy spenders when traveling abroad. Though outbound travel continues to increase year-on-year, the market is now entering a period of greater uncertainty. Weakening Australian Dollar, high household debts and low income growths are challenges to the market in the future.
China’s outbound travel growth has exceeded international expectations. The exponential increases over the years have been effectively fueled by rising disposable incomes and eased visa restrictions. Much of the outbound growth was also seen in Tier 2 and 3 cities of China where the Schengen treaty country members set up consulates and where more international airlines started introducing direct flights.
Hong Kong has the second highest ratio of outbound trips to households in Asia Pacific. With excellent flights available and a lack of domestic tourism, travelling is an important part of the Hong Kong lifestyle. Hong Kong travelers tend to be value-conscious, and prefer short getaways to destinations nearby.
Outbound travel from India has steadily increased over the years, despite a weaker Rupee to US Dollar exchange rate. Improved economic growth, rising income levels and lower inflation rates have resulted in India being the most promising market in the world for outbound tourism. The UNTWO predicts that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.
Indeed, Japan is at a new pivotal moment in its history: its population is shrinking and the performances of its economy have been sluggish for the last two decades. Outbound travel dropped to its lowest since 2009 due to the weakening Yen. The multiplication of the foyers of uncertainty, particularly in Europe, has been a strong deterrent for travel amongst this risk-averse and inward-oriented society.
In recent years, South Korea (Korea) experienced steady outbound travel increase and a record increase in 2012, achieving an outbound travel intensity of 26%. Favourable exchange rate for the Korean Won against other currencies in the region is a possible motivation for Korean outbound travel. Higher costs of living and household debts have not deterred the Korean outbound travel.
Similar to global trends, increased online penetration has allowed Malaysians to source for more information regarding travel. A third of Malaysian travelers go online for travel bookings, revealed in a study by GfK. 45% of those surveyed use both online and offline platforms for travel bookings, making the travel distribution system more complex. Lastly, the preference for last minute travel purchases remains entrenched for most Malaysian travelers.
The strong Singapore Dollar has always favoured Singapore’s outbound travel due to its travelers’ higher spending power. Lack of domestic travel options is the most likely reason for outbound travel. Singaporean travelers tend to seek nature, coastal and beach holidays which are limited in Singapore.
Taiwan is one of the oldest mature outbound travel market in Asia for both the leisure and MICE segments of outbound tourism. Outbound travel market has grown in the past few years, though a large proportion were short-haul trips due to more attractive and affordable options offered by destinations in nearby countries.
The outbound travel market in Thailand continued to increase moderately over the years, despite poor economic performance. Short-haul trips around the region make up most of the outbound travel market. As the economy slowly improves, Thai travelers are expected to make more outbound trips and travel further out of Asia as well.