Japan Keeps Top Mainland Chinese Destination Spot for Second Year, Says Travelzoo Asia Pacific Survey

Regional travel appetite continues to grow unabated, while in-depth travel becomes hot new trend

HONG KONG, January 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Travelzoo Asia Pacific, a licensee of Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO), a global Internet media company, today announced their annual member survey results that showed Japan remaining the top Mainland Chinese destination in 2015 for the second consecutive year. While 40 percent of participating Mainland Chinese members chose Japan, the United States, with 31 percent votes, was their second favourite destination. The new visa agreement between Mainland China and the United States is expected to heighten Mainland Chinese interest in U.S.-based holidays.

Please click here for the complete ranking of top destinations by market for 2015 vs. 2014.

The member survey is an annual initiative by Travelzoo Asia Pacific to map changes in travel attitudes across Asia Pacific. Conducted in collaboration with WIMI, a consumer insights consultancy firm, over 4,300 Travelzoo members in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan participated between November 2 and 30, 2014.

The study revealed that Travelzoo Mainland Chinese members will travel the most in 2015, taking an average of 6.4 leisure trips and spending an estimated USD 8,558 on average. Japanese members plan to take 5.2 leisure trips and spend USD 4,605 on average, while Hong Kong and Taiwanese members both plan to take 4.2 leisure trips, and spend USD 6,674 and USD 5,799 on average respectively. While Australian members will travel the least in 2015 (3.8 leisure trips), they will be the biggest spenders (USD 10,483 on average).

Travelzoo Asia Pacific members are seeking more out of their travel experiences, making in-depth travel a significant trend across the region. Fifty-two percent said that they are looking for immersive experiences that go beyond shopping or visiting tourist hot spots. Cultural experience, such as visiting festivals and learning local traditions, was the most sought-after experience at 36 percent, followed by gastronomy (21 percent) and exploring nature (20 percent). Travel companies that cater to in-depth travel stand to reap dividends in the coming years.

"The survey shows that the Chinese travel appetite is changing dramatically. It also underscores the danger of stereotyping Chinese preferences, especially with their increasing preference for unique experiences," said Ms. Vivian Hong, President, Travelzoo Lv You Zu. "Backed by an insatiable appetite for discovery and a willingness to spend, the Chinese will certainly impact the global travel industry. But it remains to be seen whether their destinations are prepared to appease their dynamic tastes and demands."

Meanwhile, Travelzoo Asia Pacific members are increasingly relying on the mobile Internet to stay connected and shop travel products and services. The study showed that 55 percent have used their mobiles to make a travel-related purchase over the past 12 months, with the Mainland Chinese being the most fervent mobile Internet shoppers (78 percent). Eighty-three percent stay connected with their friends, families and work during their vacation, especially the Mainland Chinese members (97 percent) and Hong Kong members (95 percent). More than half of Mainland Chinese will book or redeem vouchers during their vacation, with 77 percent using the mobile Internet to find out about restaurants.

"Buoyed by the Chinese’s preference to supplant traditional travel agents with internet channels, information technology is impacting the travel industry. Easy access to the information via smartphones is also altering travellers’ behaviours during their vacations. This is especially noticeable among Travelzoo Asia Pacific Mainland Chinese members, with a majority using their mobiles to find the best deals for a local attraction or recommendation for a good restaurant while at a destination," said Mr. Darryl Andrew, Managing Partner of WIMI.

Other key findings

Impact of travel disasters not significant

Although travel disasters in 2014 did not dampen travel appetites, more members are changing their travel behaviours and seeking better protection as a result. Fifty-two percent of Travelzoo Asia Pacific members update their friends and relatives upon arrival, while 35 percent prefer insurance products with a wider coverage and compensation. Meanwhile, 45 percent of Travelzoo Asia Pacific members, particularly 60 percent of the Mainland Chinese, said they will scrutinise flight options and paths before travelling. Still, a significant 31 percent of Travelzoo Asia Pacific members remain unconcerned, especially the Australians (44 percent).

Taking selfies become key attraction

For the first time, the study examined the trends behind taking selfies during vacation. It showed that nearly 40 percent of regional members engage in selfies, with Hong Kong members being the biggest selfie fans (59 percent) and Mainland Chinese members the top users of photo editing mobile apps (69 percent). Convenience was the top motivation for taking selfies, with 85 percent of Travelzoo Asia Pacific members using selfies to avoid asking strangers to take photos for them. For the Mainland Chinese, showing off on social media channels (34 percent) and looking better in selfies (26 percent) were other motivations.

About Travelzoo Asia Pacific

Travelzoo Asia Pacific is an independently owned licensee of Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ: TZOO), a global Internet media company and the most trusted publisher of travel and entertainment deals. With more than 27 million members in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe, and 25 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes deals from more than 2,000 travel and entertainment companies. Travelzoo Deal Experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.

For further information, please contact:

Pauline Wong
Travelzoo Asia Pacific
Telephone: (852) 3127 8010
Email: pwong@travelzoo.com

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