Published on : Saturday, December 14, 2013
The strong growth in Asian outbound travel is expected to continue in the coming years, Chandrashekhar Singh Khangjrakpam told forum participants. The general mid-term outlook for Asian outbound travel remains very positive thanks to economic growth, the increase in the number of young, and well-educated middle-class consumers and rising levels of disposable income in many countries, he explained. ”In future, Asians will continue to spend on consumer goods, lifestyle and luxury items but travel will also be a priority,” he emphasised.
”Asians have high service expectations”
However, the demands, wishes and behaviour of Asian outbound travellers are complex and changing, according to Prof Walter Jamieson, Director of the Service Innovation Program at the College of Innovation, Thammasat University in Bangkok. This is particularly important for European destinations to understand, he underlined.
”More Asians are travelling internationally on holiday and are making more short trips within Asia. The low-cost airlines such as Air Asia with their ’everyone can travel’ slogan are opening up markets. The low-cost carriers are a significant game-changer,” he explained. South-East Asian (ASEAN) destinations, for example, are trying to work together more closely to offer a wider range of holidays for Asian visitors under the slogan,”Southeast Asia – Feel the warmth”, Jamieson said.
”What’s significant is that Asians find that journeys within Asia meet their expectations. They are definitely spoiled regarding service levels. So when they visit Europe or North America for the first time, they’re getting more concerned about service levels and getting value for money,” the Canadian-born tourism expert said. ”Asians want to be treated fairly and they want to be respected and understood.”
Moreover, the priorities for Asians on long-haul trips are starting to change away from typical ’whirlwind’ sight-seeing tours taking in ’10 countries in 7 days’, according to Jamieson. The ’new Asian tourist’ is well-educated, well-informed, better-off and younger than in the past. This means they are more demanding in terms of quality and service, and are interested in more individual, adventurous and creative travel experiences, he explained. Destinations can respond to this trend by diversifying their tourism offers and introducing more ’theme-based’ tours, he recommended.
Source: WTTR Report.