Travel TrendsInterestingly, more than 50% of travel-hungry Hong Kongers are looking at international travel during the upcoming festive period.

Domestic travel strong as ox for Lunar New Year

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APAC travelGettyImages-Diversity Studio
At least 40% of APAC travellers began their festive holiday planning one month ahead, except for Japan, Thailand and Malaysia — which are currently combating fresh lockdowns. (Pictured: Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur) Photo Credit: Getty Images/Diversity Studio

Searches for domestic travel are on the up in Asia Pacific for the upcoming Lunar New Year, according to Sojern’s latest insights capturing travel data from the regional markets which traditionally demonstrates the strongest travel movements during this period.

In general, at least 40% of travellers from these markets began their festive holiday planning one month ahead, except for Japan, Thailand and Malaysia — which are currently combating fresh lockdowns and a state of emergency for the lattermost.

SG-HK graph

Domestic demand continues to lead the way, with the exception of Hong Kong which has seen more than 50% exploring international travel — subject to the status of travel restrictions — for trips during the CNY period from 11 to 14 February. A surge has also been observed for the subsequent festive weekend.

In a further sign of travel hunger, more than 10% of Hong Kongers are willing to brave the pandemic since searches reveal interest in booking trips of at least four days. Despite no news yet of the twice delayed travel bubble, inter-country travel between Hong Kong and Singapore is also proving popular between February for CNY, and for the March 2021 school holidays season.

SG Staycations

Still in Singapore, staycations continue to reign in local bookings, which jumped 73% year on year. With more international shows such as the World Economic Forum and Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific choosing to relocate their event to Singapore, the island city is in a healthy position to see increased future international inbound travel intent.

As for Down Under, Aussies continue to be locked in for the next few months, with demand focused squarely on domestic — as indicated by the 300% increase from end November into December 2020. Most international airlines have had to to realign their schedules in view of weak demand. While Qantas has fought to resume international flights from July 2021, the proposal has been met with a cool shoulder by the Australian government.

It seems too that the lead time for accommodation is short, with searches from the Australia market going only until April 2021.

As for the Trans-Tasman bubble, while current arrangements allow only one-way from New Zealand to Australia, with New Zealanders having to quarantine and bear the financial cost — data from December 2020 show travellers from the land of the kiwi looking to travel into Australia in February (24.2% increase) up until May (almost 10%).

Still, all that might come to naught with the three biggest trans-Tasman routes of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all experiencing fresh waves in the first few weeks of 2021.

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