Visa: Asia Pacific Travellers Heading for Longer Journeys, Further Destinations

Visa: Asia Pacific Travellers Heading for Longer Journeys, Further Destinations

SINGAPORE, June 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Rising affluence among a new generation Asia Pacific consumers means the global travel industry can expect to welcome an estimated nearly 90 million new travellers by 20251, according to Visa. Asia Pacific households now account for one in three global travelling households, up from one out of four in 2006.

These projections based on the Visa International Travel (VISIT) platform, also found that travellers are more likely to take long-haul trips as income levels gradually rise. "Travel patterns are changing among Asia Pacific consumers. As household income growth continue to outpace economic growth in most countries in the region, overseas travel is not only becoming more common, people are also travelling more often and looking at further destinations such as Europe and the US," said Glenn Maguire, Principal Asia Pacific Economist, Visa.

Within the affluent in our region, Singapore travellers have the highest propensity (52 percent) for long-haul travel. Even among markets with growing middle-income households such as Indonesia (38 percent) and India (13 percent), regional travel destinations are becoming popular in line with income growth.

In the study, 250 cities around the world were analysed and it showed that once a city achieves a critical mass2 of travelling-class household, the likelihood for increased overseas travel rises significantly. In the case for China, the number of cities reaching the tipping point in cross-border tourism is likely to double by 2025, adding nearly 80 million more households to the global travelling class.

Maguire added, "As more Asia Pacific consumers begin exploring beyond their national borders, these present opportunities as well as challenges for the tourism industry including travel providers and infrastructure operators including airports, hotels and attractions.

"Our analysis shows that China's major cities have emerged as key Asia Pacific destinations. This highlights the fact that China is becoming an increasingly important inbound market, as well as providing the majority of outbound tourist flows. This trend will continue as tourism infrastructure in China develops further.

"Outside of Asia Pacific, international destinations boasting cultural and religious characteristics of the new travelling class with the Haj pilgrimage often marks the first international trip made by Asia Pacific's emerging travelling class."

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1 Visa Business and Economic Insights Global Travel Study conducted with Oxford Economics, June 2016

2 Critical mass of travelling-class households is approximately 800,000 households or 70 percent of total resident households in a particular city


VISIT (Visa International Travel) is a proprietary platform that combines Visa's cardholder data with publicly available cross-border arrival statistics. The platform provides a comprehensive view into high-frequency cross-border travel flows, currently encompassing the top 82 origin and destination countries, which collectively account for more than 80 percent of global travel. VISIT combines unique counts of Visa cardholders that register a face-to-face transaction at a merchant outside their home country in a given calendar month with other transaction data such as average spend per cardholder, card usage patterns at lodging merchant and others. Visa uses this data to econometrically model official arrival statistics compiled by various government sources and to generate estimates that fill in the large gaps existing in the cross-border travel data.

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