Sabre Releases Results of Asia Pacific Travel
Sabre has released the results of an Asia
Pacific-wide travel sentiment survey.
The survey, comprising a total of 23 questions
made available in English, Traditional Chinese and Japanese, was
distributed to travellers across the region via Sabre APAC and Sabre
Australia and New Zealand’s social media channels including
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WeChat, from 3 June 2020 to 30
June 2020. To enhance outreach, a sponsored Facebook ad ran for
six days from 13 to 18 June and additional survey distribution
support was received from regional media as well as from Sabre’s
JV partners who publicized it on their Facebook channels. A total
of 618 responses were gathered and used to formulate the insights
Below are the 6 major findings of the Sabre survey
into APAC traveller sentiment:
#Finding 1: 45% of respondents expect to travel
within the next 6 months – with millennials set to travel first.
While more than a third of travellers (35%) said
they wouldn’t be travelling anytime soon, or until a COVID19
vaccine is available, there were also positive indications for the
travel industry with 45% of respondents saying they planned to
travel within 6 months (following the lifting of relevant travel
Of all the age groups, the survey indicated that
millennials (i.e., those in the 20 to 39 age category) are the
keenest to travel as soon as restrictions are lifted, with 49%
saying they would travel within 6 months.
Of respondents in all age groups, 11% indicated
they would travel immediately after travel restrictions were
lifted while 20% said they planned to travel within 1 to 3 months,
and 14% said they would travel within a 4 to 6-month timeframe.
Out of the regions in APAC, South Asia has the
highest percentage of travellers who indicated that they are keen
to travel within a year (73%).
The country with the most positive travel
sentiment was Pakistan, with only 10% of travellers saying they
aren’t keen to travel soon. Those in Singapore also demonstrated a
strong pent-up demand for travel, with just 14% saying they had no
plans to travel. 18% of respondents in Singapore said they would
travel immediately, with a further 18% saying they would travel
within 1 to 3 months.
#Finding 2: Travellers will be swayed by relaxed
safety protocols rather than price – but they do want temperature
checks at major tourist attractions.
Of the respondents who said they had no plans to
travel anytime soon, or until a COVID19 vaccine is available, the
majority said that they would not be swayed by price once they do
think about booking their next trip.
Only 10% said the main factor they would consider
would be competitively priced deals such as airfares or package
holiday deals, while the majority (41%) said their main
consideration was a relaxation of safety measures and protocols at
a destination, such as a lack of 14-day quarantine or
Meanwhile, more than a third (35%) said they would
consider the destination country government’s management of the
COVID19 pandemic and 14% said they would look at the access to
and quality of medical and healthcare systems at their potential
Of those respondents who stated they would travel
within six months, 28% said they would be extremely likely to
travel to a destination which implemented temperature screening
before entering places or interest, tourism spots and all venues
including hotels and restaurants.
Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) of respondents who will
travel within 6 months said they would be more likely to travel to
a destination where mask-wearing is enforced, 26% said they would
be more likely to travel where safe distancing measures were
strictly enforced and 21% said they would be more likely to travel
to a destination with contact tracing measures in place.
#Finding 3: Travellers perceive air travel to be
the riskiest mode of transport.
More than a third (37%) of respondents said they
believed air travel posed the highest risk of infection when
travelling during the current COVID19 pandemic, with cruise ships
deemed to be the next riskiest mode of transport for travellers in
APAC (34%). More women than men deemed air travel to be risky. Out
of those saying air travel was the riskiest mode of transport, 62%
However, even though respondents said they thought
air travel posed the highest risk, more than half (52%) said they
would still travel via air, provided that certain safety measures
were put in place.
* 35% of all respondents said “safe social
distancing with empty seats between passengers” was the most
important measure to help them to feel safe to travel via air.
* Other important measures for potential air
passengers were a requirement for all crew members and passengers
to wear a face mask, as well as enhanced cleaning for meal trays,
seats and lavatories before boarding.
* However, even with safety measures in place, 70%
of respondents who said they would travel via air would prefer to
cancel or reschedule their flight if they were informed that the
flight was completely full.
In contrast with the overall APAC results, the
majority of travellers in Japan ranked cruise as the riskiest mode
of transport in a finding. 50% of respondents in Japan stated
cruise posed the highest risk of infection, with 73% indicating
they would avoid travelling via this mode of transport completely.
#Finding 4: More than a third of travellers (74%)
are expected to opt for short-haul or domestic travel.
While travellers across APAC remain cautious about
travelling, of the 44% who indicated they will travel within the
next six months, 41% said they would opt for short-haul travel
(below 8 hours travel time), while 33% said they would choose
domestic travel, with the remaining 26% saying they would be
travelling long haul or had no preference.
* More than a third (38%) of respondents from
Pakistan who do want to travel said they would go for short-haul
trips (below 8 hours).
* In Japan, of the 49% of respondents who
indicated they will travel in the next year, 61% of those said
they will choose domestic travel.
* Meanwhile, of the 37% in Taiwan who indicated
they will travel, 46% said they will opt for short-haul travel
(below 8 hours).
#Finding 5: More travellers are expected to book
their trips through a travel agent.
Travellers who previously booked their trips
independently say they are more likely to book via travel agents
Of those surveyed, 68% said they foresee booking
their next holiday through travel agencies to save the hassle of
pre-travel research. The results varied across markets in APAC.
In South Asia, 96% of respondents indicated they
will book through travel agents, while the figure was even higher
in Pakistan, with 100% of respondents surveyed saying they will
opt to book through travel agents. In North Asia, 67% of
respondents indicated they will book their next trip through
#Finding 6: There is strong confidence in
international branded chain hotels.
The survey revealed good news for international
branded chain hotels, with 57% of respondents saying they had
previously preferred to stay in international branded chain
hotels, and 86% of those indicating that this will remain their
top choice post COVID19.
This sentiment is particularly strong in North
Asia, where 72% of respondents indicated that international
branded chain hotels will remain their choice post COVID19.
Meanwhile, 64% of respondents whose choice before
COVID19 were home stays, boutique hotels, motels or other forms
of accommodation and who said they would now change their
preferred type of stay indicated their new choice would be
international branded chain hotels.
The biggest reasons for sticking to, or making a
switch to, branded chain hotels were assurances of enhanced
sanitation and cleaning as well as the use of new cleaning
“As travel restrictions start to lift and pockets
of the industry begin to recover, we are seeing traveller behavior
adapt to the new normal,” said Todd Arthur, Vice President, Asia
Pacific, Agency Sales Travel Solutions, Sabre. “Our findings show
that, while consumer confidence in the safety of travelling is
mixed, there is also a clear pent-up demand for travel among many
people across APAC, as well as strong opportunities to be seized
by all sectors of the travel ecosystem as we move forward.”
My apologies that the audio and visual quality in this video interview
are not up to the same HD quality that they normally would be. This is the
fifth in a
series of video interviews conducted over the internet. Hopefully it won't be too
long until we are once again conducting exclusive video interviews
in person, but for now we have to make do with what we have. Thank