Skyscanner unveils APAC travel trends 2018

Global travel search engine Skyscanner has unveiled its inaugural APAC Travel Trends 2018 report, highlighting emerging destinations among APAC travellers and other findings.

Hong Kong market
Taipei, Tokyo and Bangkok are top three destinations among Hongkongers. For emerging destinations, Rome, Moscow and Prague take the top spots.

Hong Kong's respondents conducted their researches mainly at home or in bed (61%), and 59% of office said they did travel research in the office. Celebrities and influencers play a huge role in influencing travellers' choices of destinations, while 59% of them said they went to social media to source ideas.

Overview of APAC
South Korea and Vietnam are the new favourites among APAC travellers, according to the report. South
Korea moved from the 7th place in 2017 to the 5th this year, while Vietnam climbed two places to 6th in 2018. Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) has revealed that Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand contribute the highest number of travellers to South Korea, and Skyscanner data has also seen significant growth in flight searches from the same markets, with the addition of Philippines to the KTO list.

Comparing to Seoul that grew by 14% YoY in searches, Jeju and Busan recorded growth in popularity of 43% and 19% respectively. The popularity of Busan is also expected to increase farther as SilkAir launches direct flights of up to four times a week from Singapore to Busan.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Tourism Board said the country has the largest number of visitors from South Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan. While Ho Chi Minh City grew by 7%, much of the growth has shifted to Nha Trang and Da Nang, with growth in search at a record of 152% and 24%, respectively.

The report also highlighted the shift of traditional holiday destinations to more exotic and less-travelled countries. For popular destinations outside APAC, Turkey saw increased growth of 35%, followed by Portugal and Hungary, at 34% and 30%, respectively. Turkey’s popularity is driven and originates mainly from Vietnamese, Filipinos and Taiwanese travellers, doubling in growth from each market.

Japan, Thailand and the US continue to hold the top three spots as the most popular destinations for APAC travellers from 2017 to 2018. On a closer look to city level, Tokyo, Bangkok and Osaka take the top three spots, matching global popularity figures. Travel within APAC was still popular as nine out of 10 destinations in the top 10 coming from the region. Japanese destinations including Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa made the list.