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International Air Travellers Survey (IATS) Asia-Pacific 2002 finds BBC World is fasting growing news channel in Asia Pacific

Travel News Asia 11 October 2002

The latest International Air Travellers Survey (IATS) Asia-Pacific 2002 confirms that BBC World is the fastest growing international news channel in the Asia Pacific region. The study measures the viewership of international television channels and readership of international publications among international air travellers.

Since the previous survey in 2000, BBC World viewership has grown by 6% to 13%, while other channels have suffered - CNN's viewership dropped by 24% from 26.1% to 19.8% (following a 13% drop the previous year), and CNBC is down by 34% from 10.4% to 6.9%.

The channel's strength among key audience targets such as frequent business flyers and long-haul holiday-makers is demonstrated by its ranking as second among frequent business travellers* (23% daily reach). BBC World was also ranked first - ahead of CNN - among Europeans holidaymaking in Asia (daily reach - BBC World 21% and CNN 19%).

This IATS survey included Japan for the first time, where BBC World ranked second out of the eight channels among those interviewed in Osaka airport (5.4% daily reach).

Among visitors travelling to Asia from the rest of the world, the gap between those watching BBC World and CNN has narrowed by more than half. BBC World now has more viewers each day (13.0%) than CNBC attracts in a month (12.8%).

In terms of audience profile, BBC World's monthly viewers are more likely than those of CNN to be frequent flyers (36% fly 6+ trips per year), to be flying first or business class (18.1%), and to be involved in business purchase decisions (50%).

The growth in audience figures reflects BBC World's increasing distribution in households and hotels across the Asia Pacific region as well as its investment in business news and travel-related programming for the region.

"Travel has always been an important part of our viewers' lives and BBC World has reflected this in its schedule with award-winning weekend travelogue programmes such as Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, Great Railway Journeys and Benedict Allen's Edge of Blue Heaven all forming part of our on-going VOYAGER strand. We have combined this with the weekly travel business programme, Fast Track, for business travellers alongside the popular leisure travel series Holiday," said Jeremy Nye, Head of Research and Planning, BBC World.

Commenting on the research findings, Jonathan Howlett, Director of Airtime Sales, BBC World, said: "We are delighted with the latest results. They confirm that among the most elusive business-people and most sought after travellers in Asia-Pacific, BBC World is going from strength to strength, at the expense of other news channels.

"Bearing in mind that this survey was conducted before the launch of our programme Fast Track, we expect this upward trend to continue. People who travel are clearly turning from other international channels to BBC World, whether for its travel content or simply in recognition of its core values of impartiality and depth which make it an indispensable source of information to those on the move," he added.

IATS Asia-Pacific 2002 is a syndicated research study conducted by EDR. IATS Asia-Pacific 2002 was carried out in June and July 2002 among a sample of 11,615 travellers aged 18+ departing on scheduled international flights from eight major airports: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei.


* Frequent business travellers are those who had made more than 20 trips in the past year

- BBC World is the BBC's 24-hour, English language, international news and information channel, reaching 222 million homes in 200 countries and territories worldwide (94 million 24-hour homes). 

- In the Asia Pacific region BBC World is received in over 246,000 hotel rooms and is also offered as part of the in-flight entertainment service on 20 international airlines and cruise lines.

- Launched in its present format in 1995, BBC World is a commercial service, run by BBC Worldwide and funded by advertising and subscription. BBC World provides news, business and weather 24 hours a day, plus the best of the BBC's current affairs, documentary and lifestyle programming.

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