Change in travel trends

Change in travel trends

This year saw a lot of shifting travel trends and people travelled more frequently and sought new destinations from traditionally popular routes, said chief executive officer Ross Veithc of online travel site Wego.

These conclusions were based from the flight search throughout the travel metasearch in Asia Pacific and Middle East regions throughout last year.

"The comfort and security of using our metasearch was clearly reflected in the increasing number of users across all our localised country sites, along with our rapidly growing inventory of airline, hotel and OTA partners that helped them to explore their travel options," he said.

Core market observations are:


Australia's top 10 reflects its proximity to Asian capitals such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, while Bali, Manila and Phuket remain jumping off points for popular holiday resort locations.

"With the drop in the Australian dollar towards the end of last year, one might expect Aussies to lean towards more domestic travel. However, popular short haul destinations like Phuket, Bali, Fiji and New Zealand still resonate among them," said Matthew Varley, COO of Wego.

"The Qantas-Emirates alliance continues to provide connectivity to Dubai and onwards to Europe, a route that we expect will remain strong in 2014."


"Bangkok has long been a top destination for Singaporeans because of its short travelling time, plenty of promotions on flights and accommodation for budget conscious travellers. It is also a food and shopping haven and the Singapore dollar has been consistently strong against the Thai baht," observed Dave Lai, Wego's market development manager for Singapore and Malaysia.

There's also an increase in Singaporean holidays to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi also due to close proximity and active LCC promotions. In recent years, Jetstar added a daily route to Ho Chi Minh and flies to Hanoi four times weekly.

"It's interesting that Taipei and Seoul have been increasing in popularity for the past three years. I believe they will continue to do so as Singaporeans consider exploring other North Asia destinations aside from Hong Kong."


"Last year, Bangkok overtook Kuala Lumpur while Europe hit the travel radar for Indonesians with three cities in the top 10 compared to only two last year. Most notably Amsterdam has moved into the top five and London into the top 10," commented Wego Indonesia managing director Graham Hills.

"Even though the rupiah fell more than 20 per cent against the US dollar in the last six months of 2013, Wego Indonesia saw an increase of 58 per cent in international searches."

Hill predicted that next year, China will overtake Malaysia and become the No. 2 international destination for Indonesians.

"Indonesia will remain a very affordable international destination for regional travellers so we expect to see growth in inbound travel from markets like Singapore, Malaysia and Australia," he concluded.


"Travel between the Middle East and Asia continues to grow with more flight options between both regions," said Wego Middle East and North Africa managing director Mohamad Ibrahim Masri.

Key tourism destinations such as Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok continue to lead the search results from the region. Next year, as the EU works to further relax visa requirements for Gulf nationals, more travellers will select Europe for summer holiday destinations.

The UK's removal of visa requirements for UAE nationals will change the rankings of top destinations for Emirates and help to increase the number of holiday and business trips."

"We will see more advanced bookings for summer holidays driven by special offers and promotions that will be rolled out earlier in the market, and we can expect new Asian destinations to be added to the travel menu, with lots of new tourism products from legacy destinations," he concluded.


"Given the falling rupee, this year saw many Indians preferring domestic destinations and weekend getaways over international options," said Wego India managing director Jackson Fernandez. "However, the flash sales offered by airline companies fuelled a rise in preference for SEA destinations for international travel."

Fernandez predicted that this year will see the emergence of the niche traveller, once referred to as backpackers, although in today's parlance, can be termed "well-informed individual travellers".

"This is where social media and Wego's convenient metasearch come into play even stronger, empowering these travellers the freedom to make and live by their own travel plans with little or no assistance from other sources. As a result there'll be a growth in the travel gadgets industry providing many new opportunities," he said.


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