Bits and BobsLong-haul European traffic heading to Brazil, less to Asia

Japan favoured destination for Chinese New Year travel

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Japan occupies the leading position as 2016 Lunar New Year destinations for travellers from countries that observe the holiday.
Japan occupies the leading position as 2016 Lunar New Year destinations for travellers from countries that observe the holiday. Photo Credit: lkunl/iStock

According to the latest Global Travel Insights report by Sojern, Thailand and China take up the next two spots and for cities, Bangkok and Osaka rank second and third. Malaysian and Vietnamese travellers are venturing beyond their usual domestic destinations this Lunar New Year, the report said.

Japan, notably its capital Tokyo, occupies the leading positions as 2016 Lunar New Year destinations for travellers from countries that observe the holiday.

According to the latest Global Travel Insights report by Sojern, Thailand and China take up the next two spots and for cities, Bangkok and Osaka rank second and third. Malaysian and Vietnamese travellers are venturing beyond their usual domestic destinations this Lunar New Year, the report said.

As expected, there is heightened travel intent during the Lunar New Year period, starting 8 February, with a week-on-week travel increase of up to 240%. While this is less than in 2015 (313%), it does not signify a dip in volume.

More Vietnamese and Malaysian travellers are headed to non-domestic destinations than in 2015, including to Singapore, Melbourne, Tokyo and Sydney.

The list of top eight countries that attracted the most interest in the last quarter of last year overlapped with the top eight of the most booked: United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Portugal. Rounding out the top 10 is India and Turkey.

The report also revealed that search lead times for travellers in the region are shrinking, quarter-on-quarter: 17% of travellers searched for trips seven or fewer days in advance of travel (up from 15% last quarter) and, at the other end of the spectrum, 39% of travellers had a search lead time for 60+ days (down from 41% last quarter).

Looking at early search and booking patterns for long-haul travel from Europe and the US, Sojern found destinations in Asia Pacific eclipsed by the rise of Brazil, thanks to interest generated by the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Japan is the only country in Asia Pacific to climb in popularity with Americans (up nine places to position 14 since last year) and Sydney the only city (up 13 spots to position 13 compared to last year).

Thailand remains one of the top two destination countries for long-haul travel by Europeans, but India and Indonesia both slide down by one position overall in 2016, and Vietnam altogether exits the top 10 list of long-haul destinations for both Q1 and the rest of the year.

Phuket and Tokyo are the only cities in Asia Pacific to climb and, respectively, enter the top 10 for Europeans this year.


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