It’s one of the most exciting projects I have managed this year, and the result of contributions from leading tourism industry thought leaders in Asia and nearly three thousand young consumers across thirteen countries in the region. I’m proud to announce that ‘The Rise of the Young Asian Traveller’ is released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association!
What’s the context?
The rapid emergence of Asian economies and the subsequent accompanying boom in travel has attracted the attention of the global travel and tourism community, as well as countless others. In recent years the sheer number of outbound travellers from Asian countries combined with their well-documented spending power has made an impact beyond Asia and the Pacific region, as destinations in all other regions race to understand the Asian traveller and adapt their products and services accordingly.
The Rise of the Young Asian Traveller, released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), explains how and why it is predominantly young people who are fuelling this growth, looking to explore the world beyond their country’s borders.
I am the author of this report, and for three months in early 2014 I was assisted by a talented team at PATA Headquarters in Bangkok. Research of this kind is extremely rare, with scant coverage of this region which is undergoing a tourism boom. It was great to learn first hand about the shape that youth travel growth is taking, through online surveys and focus groups.
In line with PATA’s ‘Next Gen’ strategy, the report is intended to help tourism industry professionals around the world to understand the importance of engaging with young people, both as consumers and employees in the travel and tourism industry, and to give them an understanding of the power of the young Asian traveller to shape global travel and tourism in the years to come.
What’s in the report?
Nearly 3,000 travellers between the ages of 15-34 participated in an online survey distributed across 13 countries in Northeast and Southeast Asia including China, Korea (ROK), Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Crucially, in addition to this valuable data, I have gone the extra mile by explaining what’s driving the trends it describes with articles and invited commentary from industry experts. These include:
- Why youth travel does not always mean ‘budget travel’ in Asia
- What the leap to mobile technology will mean for travel providers across the region
- How low-cost carriers have capitalised so successfully on the youth market across the region
- Why the most sophisticated tourism boards look to attract students as well as leisure travellers
- Who exerts the biggest influence on young Asians’ travel decisions
- Why it is important to start reaching the next generation of your brand’s consumers today
PATA CEO Martin J. Craigs said, “This report highlights very effectively why Asia’s top destinations and tourism brands need to sit up and take notice of young consumers and their travel tastes. Today’s young travellers will very quickly become business and family travellers, so it is important to show them your trust and loyalty from a very early stage”.
In future posts I will discuss the implications of the report and how its findings will prove useful to brands and destinations of all sizes in reaching the next generation of Asian travellers.