Asian Travel Intentions Survey 2007 - a travel attitude survey conducted among 5,050 respondents from 10 nations has proven revealing on both the perceptions and misperceptions of world travelers towards Indonesia and other Asian destinations. Undertaken in cooperation between the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and VISA, the survey was carried out in February and March 2007 tallying the views of a sample of 500 respondents each from Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Britain, U.S.A. and Australia.
The 40-page reports provides insights on the perceptions, prejudices, plans and motivating factors among world travelers as regards Pacific Asia travel.
Among the highlights of the report :
• When asked which Asia country they were most likely to choose as a holiday destination Thailand ranked first (21%), followed by Japan (13%), China (12%), Hong Kong (9%) Maldives (8%), Singapore (8%), India (8%), Vietnam (5%), Malaysia (4%), Korea (4%), and Indonesia (3%). Tied with Indonesia at a low 3% preferred holiday destination spot were the Philippines, Chinese Taipei and Sri Lanka.
• 92% of the respondents indicated they travel with a partner, family or friend. Among those traveling on a single basis the Australians were first (11%), followed by Canada (9%), and the U.K. (8%).
• In citing the type of experience that were considered most important during travel some 35% listed local culture followed by relaxation (33%), outdoor adventure (12%), family friendly (11%), shopping (6%) and nightlife (5%).
• Showing the increasingly smaller role played by international wholesalers in arranging travel, a somewhat surprising 46% of those surveyed said they "self-planned" their holidays, while 26% used the services of a travel agent and only 23% opted for a packaged tour.
• Reflecting the new trend towards "self-planned" holidays, 81% told the surveyors that use the Internet to plan their holiday, followed by advice from on-line travel agents (62%), books/travel guides (50%), the advice of family and friends (48%) and store front travel agencies (45%).
• When asked what represented the main barriers to travel, the respondents listed the following factors in descending order of importance: terrorism and its consequences; political unrest; travel warnings; safety and security concerns (other than terrorism); bird flu; general cost of travel; language difficulties and overcrowding.
• When asked to ranked the "greatest benefit" of travel to Asia - 22% cited the opportunity to experience other cultures, followed by the natural beauty of the region (18%), relaxation (13%) and the relatively low cost of goods and services (11%).
• A growing cultural consciousness among travelers was reflected by 89% of the respondents saying they would be more likely to choose tourism products (e.g. flights or hotels) that were sensitive to local culture. Supporting this new social awareness was the finding that 70% of those responding would be prepared to pay between 10% and 50% more for culturally-sensitive tourism products.
• Environmental friendliness also ranked high in the survey with 87% saying they would be more inclined to choose an environmentally friendly tourism product. Putting their money where their heart is, 70% said they were prepared to pay more to use environmentally-friendly tourism products.
• When asked their opinions regarding enhanced security measures at airports - 23% complained that the procedures are "too much," while 66% said that such procedures were "about right" and 10% thought current security measures were inadequate. 13% of the respondents felt security measures at airport were of little or no effect.
• When asked which countries they felt were still severely affected by the 2004 tsunami, 56% of those responding listed Indonesia followed by Thailand (40%), Sri Lanka (39%), and Malaysia (23%). The survey also showed a lack of sophistication in both current events and geography when 23% of those responding incorrectly cited the Philippines as still being severely affected by the 2004 tsunami when, in fact, that country was completely unscathed by that 2004 disaster.
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