While travellers from around the world have seen their plans altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, their enthusiasm for travelling has not decreased—it's just gone domestic. Booking.com finds that Hongkongers' travel distance dropped drastically this summer, but local travel offers and luxurious hotel staycations remained popular.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, compared with the same period last year, the average travel distance between June and August 2020 among Hongkongers dropped from 2,753 kilometres per booking to just 292 — an 89% drop, which was significantly higher than the global average of 63%.
One fifth of the total distance travelled by Hongkongers between 1 June and 31 August 2020 was within the city, compared to only 1% during the same period last year. Thanks to this new normal, local travel offers and luxurious hotel staycations have become a popular among domestic travellers, as many of them have chosen to celebrate special occasions with their friends and families at luxurious hotels.
When it comes to the types of accommodations, Hongkongers were more likely to have opted for a hotel than they were last year, followed by holiday home stays and resorts.
The study also questioned Hongkongers' preferences for accommodations and types of trips. For example, 78% of respondents said they had intended to stay at a hotel last year, and 31% had anticipated to stay at a Japanese ryokan.
Meanwhile, Hongkongers hoped to have bustling city trips (70%) and active outdoor trips (27%) at the end of last year. More than half (52%) even dreamt of staying at least once in a unique accommodation such as a castle or treehouse.
“During these unprecedented times, it’s reassuring to see that while our plans and priorities may have changed, our passion for travel has not," said Vikas Bhola, regional director of Booking.com.
"Whether it’s the memories captured, relationships strengthened or smiles made, the summer of 2020 proved that the happiness travel can bring is not simply measured in kilometres. There are plenty of adventures to be explored and comfort to be found right next door," Bhola added.