Travel TrendsNot all markets are created equal, as there’s a divide in travel confidence across Asia Pacific.

How eager are Asians to travel abroad?

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Indian travellers are the most confident to travel, while the Japanese are the least.
Indian travellers are the most confident to travel, while the Japanese are the least. Photo Credit: GettyImages/Sushiman

Now that most of the countries’ borders in Asia Pacific have opened up, more Asians can travel again. But the level of travel confidence varies from country to country. For the most part, many are confident about jetting off to any corner of the globe, while others remain hesitant.

Booking.com's recently published Travel Confidence Index reveals that while there is a strong pent-up demand for travel, confidence to venture beyond borders remains diverse and nuanced across Asia and Oceania.

The study was tabulated from 11,000 travellers’ responses across 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between 19 April and 17 May.

Countries ranked by its residents’ travel confidence

How eager are Asians to travel abroad?

“Our APAC Travel Confidence Index reflects how while travel intent remains strong, travel confidence remains nuanced across Asia – for a variety of reasons,” said Laura Houldsworth, managing director of Asia Pacific at Booking.com. “It is a promising indication of the opportunities available for the industry to adapt and collaborate now to bolster the overall confidence of travellers, so we can truly make it easier for everyone to travel and experience the world again in a sustainable way.”

Consumers from India were the most confident, with 86% indicating that they intend to travel in the next 12 months, followed closely by Vietnam and China. While Korea, Taiwan and Japan ranked lower in overall confidence, the intention to travel is still there at above 60%.

The study further highlights that Indian, Vietnamese and Chinese travellers are the most willing to tolerate travel disruptions – including rising travel costs, potential quarantine and changes to border regulations – in order to travel.

Conversely, 75% of Japanese respondents expressed uncertainty with border reopenings, and 82% are concerned about Japan’s readiness to safely welcome back international travellers.

What motivates people to travel?

Despite the uncertainties, 54% of all respondents surveyed revealed that their desire for leisure is still going strong even if there are still restrictions in place, as the rapidly evolving travel landscape has made it easier to plan and book travel.

The desire to “just get away” (46%) is the top motivator to travel after two years of lockdowns, followed closely by a “getaway to recharge mentally” (36%). For travellers from Thailand, these wellness retreats emerged the market’s prime motivator.

What deters people from travelling?

Not surprisingly, the surging travel cost is the number one deterrent for travellers (38%), with the second being tied at the fear of having to undergo quarantine (37%), and the possibility of getting stuck due to frequently changing border regulations (37%).

Concerns vary across destinations. In Singapore, China and Hong Kong, the top concern was the possibility of getting stuck at the destination because of new border regulations – 61%, 53% and 55% respectively – while in Japan the top concern of 47% of respondents was falling ill while travelling.

When asked whether these disruptions should be accepted as part of travel in today’s world now, only two markets — Japan (47%) and South Korea (32%) — said no.

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