What are people in Asia-Pacific thinking about travel right now? It depends on where they live

For the most part, Asia-Pacific residents can travel again.

But some are safer to pack than others.

Traveler confidence is “diverse and nuanced” across the region, according to a new survey commissioned by travel site Booking.com.

Some 11,000 people in the region were asked about their comfort levels and concerns, as well as their willingness to tolerate the kinds of disruptions that have become common since the start of the pandemic.


The survey results were published in Booking.com’s first “Travel Confidence Index”, which ranked places from most to least confident.

Key findings from the study include:

No. 1: India

According to the survey, Indians emerged as having the highest travel confidence. Some 86% of respondents said they planned to travel within 12 months – a number surpassed only by those in China – although travel in both countries is expected to be largely domestic.

Additionally, 70% of respondents said they would accept early travel disruptions, the highest rate in the survey.

Indians are also confident in their country – 85% said India can safely accommodate international travellers, which is above the region’s average of 51%.

No. 2: Vietnam

Vietnamese are also confident to travel again, according to the survey, buoyed by their comfort with the reopening of regional borders (82%) and confidence in Vietnam’s ability to receive travelers again (75%).

However, rising prices can have adverse consequences. Of all respondents, the Vietnamese are the most concerned about costs (53%).

No. 3: China

Nearly 90% of Chinese respondents said they plan to travel next year, the highest of any territory surveyed.

Additionally, 62% said they plan to travel abroad “immediately” after China lifts its quarantine policy. Of these, 43% plan to go to Japan or South Korea, according to the survey.

Of all respondents, the Chinese are the least concerned about costs (20%) but the most concerned about the administrative hassle of planning trips this year (46%).

No. 4: New Zealand

Almost 80% of Kiwis say they are likely to travel next year, with the main motivation being to visit family (53%), according to the survey.

However, only 49% of Kiwi respondents said they consider leisure travel important during the pandemic, 5 percentage points lower than the regional average.

No. 5. Australia

Compared to the regional average, Australians are slightly less likely to travel to Asia-Pacific than others (72% vs. 76%). Australians, as well as Kiwis, are also much less willing to share their personal information for travel purposes, compared to the rest of the region.

Just over half of Australians said they were comfortable resuming travel (55%) and in Australia’s ability to receive international travelers safely again (53%), according to the survey.

No. 6: Singapore

Some 75% of Singaporeans said they are likely to travel next year, slightly below the regional average of 76%, according to the survey.

Singapore’s 6th place was largely influenced by respondents’ reluctance to accept travel disruptions. Among those in Singapore – a country known for its organization and efficiency, particularly at its top-rated Changi Airport – only 35% said they would accept travel delays and related issues, compared to 47% in the region as a whole, according to the survey.

No. 7: Hong Kong

Compared to the rest of Asia-Pacific, Hong Kongers are no longer as comfortable with travel, or with their own ability to receive international travellers, according to the survey. Nevertheless, 71% said they are likely to travel next year.

Their biggest motivation? Escaping being “stuck at home” – around 70% cited this, the most of any jurisdiction surveyed, including Taiwan (60%) and Singapore (57%), according to the results.

Quarantine periods for entering Hong Kong have been reduced this week. However, many residents can stick to staycations this year. Almost half (47%) said they were likely to book a staycation even after international travel was possible again, according to the survey.

No. 8: Thailand

Thailand receives the most tourists of any country in the region, which may explain why respondents said they were somewhat nervous about resuming travel.

Only 39% say they are comfortable with the reopening of regional borders (compared to 53% at the regional level), according to the poll. Even fewer (29%) say they are confident in Thailand’s ability to reopen safely to international travelers (compared to 51% regionally).

No. 9: South Korea

South Koreans scored below regional averages in all but one confidence category – the likelihood of traveling next year.

According to the poll, around 80% said they were likely to travel in the next 12 months, but only 31% said they were willing to accept travel interruptions along the way.

No. 10: Taiwan

Only 27% of Taiwanese respondents said they were comfortable with the reopening of borders in the region. And if a Covid-19 outbreak occurs at their travel destination, only 8% said they would stick to their travel plans, compared to 17% in the region.

Taiwanese were also the most worried about getting sick, according to the poll. Nearly 60% cited it as a travel issue, compared to just 22% in China.

No. 11: Japan

Japanese travelers have proven to be the least confident travelers to Asia-Pacific this year, according to the survey.

Only 18% expressed confidence in Japan’s ability to receive international travelers again, and 26% are comfortable with the reopening of regional borders.

The Japanese are also much less tolerant of travel disruptions, according to the survey. Only 24% said they would accept them – the lowest of any territory surveyed.

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