Expedia traveller insights highlight Asia Pacific revival

Sporting events make Paris most sought-after destination
/ New Delhi
Expedia traveller insights highlight Asia Pacific revival

Expedia says longer planning by travellers signals greater confidence

Traveller insights for Q1 2024 released by travel booking portal Expedia say that while major sporting events, including the Olympics, make Paris the top destination and a significant uptick in travel interest in Asia Pacific.
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Online travel agency Expedia has released its Traveller Insights for Q1 2024 that highlight the recovery in travel in Asia Pacific region, seen most recently in Q4, 2023.

In a press statement, Expedia says that the latest data from the final quarter of 2023 reveals a significant uptick in international travel interest, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, alongside heightened enthusiasm for Paris as a prime destination in anticipation of major sporting events.

The company says that these insights not only reflect evolving travel preferences but also offer valuable cues for travel and hospitality professionals to refine their marketing strategies effectively.

As the year unfolded, a notable trend emerged with travelers increasingly planning their journeys well in advance. The data indicates a substantial quarter-over-quarter (QOQ) surge in searches for trips planned 180 days ahead or more.

Expedia says that this trend was observed globally, with a more than 15 pc increase, and nearly 20 pc for domestic searches, signaling a shift towards mid-year travel planning. This forward-looking behaviour was most pronounced in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), where searches expanded by over 70 pc, and in North America (NORAM), which saw a 10 pc increase.

In the latest travel trends report, the spotlight is on Paris as a premier destination for summer 2024 travel. Data from the fourth quarter of 2023 indicates a surge in interest for the French capital, with searches for trips in July and August rising by over 20 pc. This uptick is particularly notable for the period between July 26 and August 11, 2024, where there has been a significant year-over-year increase in the anticipated length of stay by travelers from North America and Latin America, nearing 25 pc.

Such statistics suggest a growing trend among international visitors to extend their Parisian vacations, presenting a valuable window for local hospitality and tourism sectors to capitalize on this increased footfall.

The statement adds that Expedia Group’s Unpack ‘24 report highlights a burgeoning trend in live music tourism. Following a record-setting year in 2023, 2024 is anticipated to witness a continuation of this trend, with nearly 70 pc of travellers expressing an increased likelihood of attending concerts outside their hometown.

This evolving dynamic underscores the importance for destinations and businesses to integrate cultural and entertainment elements into their marketing strategies, catering to the diverse interests of global travellers.

As the travel industry continues to rebound from the pandemic’s impact, recent data from the fourth quarter of 2023 highlights a significant resurgence in interest towards the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. This renewed fascination is evident in the sharp increase in search volumes for several APAC cities, underscoring a global eagerness to explore this diverse region. Notably, Guangzhou has seen an astonishing 85 pc year-over-year (YOY) growth in global search volume, with Hong Kong and Shanghai also witnessing substantial rises, each by 35 pc.

This burgeoning interest spans across all four super regions, showcasing a universal appeal of APAC cities among global travellers. European, Middle Eastern, and African (EMEA) tourists have notably contributed to a 70 pc and 50 pc YOY increase in searches for Osaka and Kyoto, respectively, demonstrating a keen interest in Japan’s cultural and historical richness. Similarly, Latin American (LATAM) travellers have expressed a pronounced preference for Tokyo, with an 85 pc YOY surge in search volumes, highlighting the city’s global allure.

Travelers from within the APAC region have shown a strong propensity to explore nearby Chinese cities, with Shenzhen and Macau experiencing double-digit YOY search volume growth. North American (NORAM) tourists are also part of this trend, with significant increases in searches for Guangzhou (65 pc), Kyoto (55 pc), and Osaka (50 pc), indicating a broad-based interest in the cultural, historical, and modern experiences offered by these destinations.

As the chill of winter began to grip the Northern Hemisphere in the fourth quarter of 2023, Expedia’s latest data reveals a significant trend that travellers seeking refuge in warmer climates propelled destinations such as Orlando, Miami, and Punta Cana to the top of the global search rankings.

This shift underscores a growing preference for sun-drenched escapes during the colder months, with Cancun and Fort Lauderdale ascending the ranks for North American (NORAM) travelers, and Buenos Aires making a notable leap to the fifth spot among Latin American (LATAM) destinations.

The trend extends beyond individual city preferences, reflecting a broader surge in interest for tropical locales among US travellers. Notably, destinations like St. Lucia, Aruba, and Curaçao witnessed triple-digit quarter-over-quarter (QOQ) increases in search volumes from the US, signaling a robust desire for beach-bound holidays. Supporting this observation, the GWI Zeitgeist Study reveals that nearly half (46 pc) of recent visitors to Expedia are planning a vacation centered around beaches or water this year.

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