DatabankThink travel agents are not needed for domestic travel? That's not quite the case, reveals Milieu Insight of the travel patterns in Southeast Asia.

Waves of SE Asia travellers flock to travel agents

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Over 80% of travellers from Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam prefer entrusting their domestic vacations to travel agencies.
Over 80% of travellers from Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam prefer entrusting their domestic vacations to travel agencies. Photo Credit: GettyImages/Tuan Duc Luong

Domestic travel is still very much prevalent among the Southeast Asian market, largely due to the fear of a pandemic resurgence leaving travellers stranded in a foreign country. However, despite being in their own home country, most travellers prefer engaging a travel agency to manage their domestic travel plans.

A study by Milieu Insight, a Southeast Asian consumer research and analytics firm, reveals that 85% of respondents in Indonesia, 82% from the Philippines and 83% from Vietnam are especially keen to tap onto a travel agent for domestic travel.

The study deduces that in doing so, it reduces the stress of personally navigating a trip’s logistical arrangements and frees up more time for travellers to enjoy their first post-pandemic vacation.

The research further highlights that travellers from the Philippines remain the most concerned with the pandemic, while travellers from Indonesia (89%), Vietnam (83%) and Thailand (79%) have expressed the least concern for themselves when it comes to domestic travel.

The stronger rebound to travel is reflected in the domestic travel policies of these countries as there are minimum restrictions involved in their inter-state/inter-provincial travels.

Waves of SE Asia travellers flock to travel agents

Changing preferences for SEA domestic travellers

According to Milieu Insight, travellers spanning the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are most eagerly looking forward to reconnecting with their family spread out in different parts of their country.

In February 2022, Vietnam saw a total of 9.6 million domestic travellers, while an estimated 31% of Indonesia’s population travelled back to their hometowns to spend time with their family in celebration of Idul Fitri (end of Ramadan) in April 2022.

Though they may be spending time with their family, travellers have shown that they’re not spending the night with their relatives. They prefer staying in hotels during their domestic trips, with half of travellers in Vietnam also showing preference for resorts, and more than half from Thailand also preferring pool villas.

In regard to how they get to their destination, 76% of all respondents surveyed across the five countries prefer land transport. In the near future, 81% of survey participants say that they want to bring their family along with them on their next vacation.

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