As someone who spends a fair amount of time answering surveys, it amused me to receive this survey report by Amadeus Asia Pacific, on what the Asia Pacific traveller wants, in order to enhance his or her travel experience.

The research, Journey of Me Insights: What Asia Pacific travellers want, was conducted in May 2017 in collaboration with YouGov. A total of 6,870 respondents from 14 markets in Asia Pacific that have travelled internationally in the past 12 months were sampled.

Journey of Me Insights

Journey of Me Insights

The 14 markets in random order were:

• Australia (500 respondents),
• China (1,200),
• Hong Kong (300),
• India (1,200),
• Indonesia (500),
• Japan (420),
• Korea (400),
• Malaysia (400),
• New Zealand (250),
• Philippines (400),
• Singapore (300),
• Taiwan (300),
• Thailand (400),
• Vietnam (300).

Why was I amused? I remember answering this survey, hence I have reason to believe that I was one of the 400 Malaysians.

From when and how Malaysian travellers plan and book their trips, to how and why they want to stay connected while travelling, to how frequently they use sharing economy services, and the types of new technologies they would be most interested in, the study took a multi-faceted look at what Malaysian travellers want.

In a nutshell, 64% of Asia Pacific travellers interviewed are open to sharing personal data for more relevant offers and personalised experiences. Slightly more cautious, 57% of Malaysian travellers feel the same.

What Malaysian Travellers Want

What Malaysian Travellers Want

For travel providers, the mandate is clear – personalisation must be carefully balanced against rising privacy concerns. They will need to respect and protect personal data and the need for privacy at all times. Above and beyond adhering to legislation, travel players must be able to articulate ‘what’s the value?’ to get travellers to share their data.

Asia Pacific travellers seek what’s genuine, and turn to their fellow travellers for inspiration. When planning trips, Malaysian travellers are most influenced by word of mouth from friends, family and colleagues as well as traveller reviews. Their social network and travel review sites were likewise voted most likely to have sent them relevant recommendations about travel.

While the vast majority of Malaysian travellers would be interested in receiving travel recommendations from the moment they consider a trip all the way up to while they are on the trip, travel players must consider carefully how to connect with them and with what content.

42% of Malaysian travellers prefer to receive updates and recommendations about their trip through e-mail, with only 4% happy to be contacted via phone call. Recommendations that help them save money was the top choice for Malaysian travellers (51%), while timesaving tips were less popular (12%).

There are many Asias within Asia
The most dominant observation from Journey of Me Insights is that there is no consistent profile for the Asia Pacific traveller. Stark contrasts in behaviours, needs and preferences were observed across all geographic and demographic lines. For example, while 66% of Chinese travellers do most of their trip booking on mobile, only 39% of Malaysian travellers do so.

Separately, while 70% of Japanese travellers have never used a sharing economy service for trip accommodation, 64% of Malaysian travellers have, and almost half of all Indian travellers say they do so ‘often’ and ‘very often’. And while 84% of Singaporean travellers think it’s important to find service staff at the destination that speak a language they understand, only half (47%) of Malaysians do, with Hong Kong travellers (4%) even less likely to think the same.

Miro Blazevic, General Manager, Amadeus Malaysia concluded, “At Amadeus, our goal is to help the travel industry thrive by putting the traveller at the centre of everything we do. That’s why we’re investing to understand who they are and what they want. The Malaysia report gives us many interesting insights – some expected, others less so.

“One of the observations that stood out to me was how important cost-saving is to Malaysian travellers. Indeed, the number of Malaysians travelling overseas fell last year as a result of a weakened ringgit, so this is not surprising. But this can be an opportunity to travel players, if for example, they can help build more rewarding journeys for their travellers that also save them money.”

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With love

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