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Asian Travelers Are Changing Everything

Asian travelers are changing everything about the global travel industry. Their numbers drive airline routes, impact what amenities hotels offer and are shaping how major destination cities like New York, Paris and Bangkok handle crowds. We know they’re important economically and culturally but what do they really want when they take a trip?

We have the answers and you may be surprised.

A new study from Sabre Corporation, which is a technology provider to the global travel industry, shows just how different and important Asian travelers are. The results of this APAC-wide study were compiled from over 500 travel professionals.

Looking towards 2020, here are five key trends revealed by leisure travel consultants from over 24 countries across the world’s fastest growing region, Asia Pacific.


With more content for travelers to choose than ever before, it can sometimes be difficult to cut through the clutter. This means that travel agents are more relevant than ever before, acting as strategic allies for travelers on a quest to book the best fare, and holiday. Travel professionals reveal that those aged between 35-50 make up close to 60% of their customer-base, proving that despite the rise of online platforms meant to facilitate personal bookings, there’s nothing quite like having a professional to help enhance the booking experience. What’s more, a whopping three in five respondents indicate that personalized requests are the main reason why customers reach out, allowing them to create unique packages that reflect each traveler’s needs.


The Asian population is quickly aging, with the region on track to have the oldest population in the world in just a few decades. More than 40% of consumers served by travel agents are over the age of 50, and over one third of those surveyed identified that retirees are among their most popular customers, just after families and couples. In fact, four in 10 agents confirm that travel for groups of retired people is on the rise, with packaged tours listed as the main reason why people over 50 reach out to travel agents. A total of 46% of those included in the 50-69 branch, and close to 60% of the 70 and over age group request packaged tours that include flights, hotel and transportation bookings, with wellness or religious activities often being the main reason for their bookings.


Travel is a truly powerful tool, providing the ability to bring people and cultures closer together. However, with tourism rates continually rising from one year to the next, the ecological footprint created by the travel industry cannot be overlooked. Consumers in APAC are increasingly taking the environment into consideration when making purchases and travel is no different. Sabre’s Traveler Trend Survey found that over 60% of travel consultants identified a growing concern for the environment among travelers. The survey also reveals that an impressive 70% of travelers are asking for sustainable tourism options, and close to 30% are requesting for alternate modes of transportation. Sadly, the survey also reveals that only 2% of leisure travelers across Asia Pacific ask to purchase carbon credits.


With solo travel growing year on year, the Sabre Traveler Trends Survey discloses that in Asia, men account for 10% more of the solo travel bookings than women. When it comes to bookings, women tend to prefer travelling in groups. However, when it’s time for a couples’ getaway, the survey reveals that both parties do their part, with nearly 40% of both men and women reaching out to their travel consultant to assist with the booking.


As consumers across the board expect customization to be part of their retail experience, a shocking 60% of respondents indicate that personalization is the main reason why they are called upon to book travel. Helping to fulfil the growing demands of those aged 34 and below to book their next sport and adventure travel, which account for approximately 50% of group bookings, or simply to identify better prices for their customers, travel consultants are trained professionals who play a big part in making dreams come true.

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