A large amount of data was analysed, producing some strong general conclusions, but also revealing certain distinct contrasts between nations and generations.
Here are the most interesting findings.
Who travels the most and for how long?
Chinese travellers take a full two extra trips each year when compared to Australians; 5.3 against 3.3. However, this means Australians have more time on each holiday, spending an average of 10.6 days per trip, compared with China’s 6.3. Japanese travellers lay in the middle on both fronts. Australians are the most likely to go overseas (45%), followed by China (27%), and Japan (14%).
Generationally, it’s Baby Boomers who save up for the longer trips, with Australian boomers spending 12.7 days away each trip. Millennials travel most frequently in China (5.8 trips per year) and Australia but in Japan, it’s Gen X with 5.2 trips.
What are the reasons for travel?
Travel motivations differed quite a bit between nations and generations. For Chinese travellers, relaxing was the most popular response at 74%, while in Australia 51% said visiting family was important, and 54% of Japanese travellers most enjoyed a staycation. All three nations ranked highly for sightseeing (China 62%, Japan 61%, Australia 42%).
Other categories were more varied. The findings showed that 88% of Chinese travellers strongly agreed that they’d go anywhere as long as they could be active and outdoors, while only 55% of Japanese travellers chose this option. Around 70% of Australians agreed life is short so taking risks and crossing off activity wishlists was important.
Within generations, 81% of Millennials prioritised relaxing and 68% opted for sightseeing. Baby Boomers and Gen X (69% and 67% respectively) clearly favour sightseeing but it’s just as popular as staycations with Gen Z and Millennials (around 50% on each). Feeling pampered is a top priority for Gen Z and Millennials are excited for food experiences, while Baby Boomers are more focused on activities and cultural experiences.
Which mode of transport do people use?
Unsurprisingly flying is the most common and popular way of reaching a destination, 72% of Australians indicated this was how they reached their destination. However, only 37% of Japanese travellers said they would fly. They were almost as likely to drive (31%) or take a train (25%). These figures are much higher than both China and Australia. Chinese travellers were also found to be heavily flight dominant at 66%.
What type of accommodation do these travellers choose?
Australians are the most explorative when it comes to what property they will stay in. As opposed to 90% of Japanese travellers, only 50% of Australians stay in a hotel, while 20% are happy to stay with family/friends, 12% will go to a resort, and 6% will consider alternative accommodations. Interestingly, no Japanese travellers said they would consider alternatives.
Gen Z are the most likely to consider alternative accommodations but all clearly prefer a hotel stay, especially in China and Japan where no other option ranked above 20%.
How are travel budgets handled?
On average, 92% of all nations tried to for the best value deals. Chinese travellers are especially budget conscious with 81% rating it a primary factor in choosing accommodation. They tend to save their money for the trip where they allocate the biggest proportion (after their hotel) to shopping (16%).
Japanese travellers spend the most on food (18%), and Australians put 25% into their flights.
OTAs are the most popular hotel booking resource, especially for Chinese guests who were at over 60%. Search engines were strong for all three, as were hotel’s own websites – with the exception of Chinese travellers who said they prefer review sites.
What destination trends and advertising opportunities arose?
Most travellers are indecisive about their destination giving marketers a strong opportunity to influence the decision making process. Travellers who don’t have a destination in mind or have two or more when they decide to take a trip: China (51%), Japan (64%), Australia (55%).
This is particularly prominent in younger generations with 67% of Australian Millennials unsure about their destination when they start planning.
When it comes to advertising 66% of Chinese travellers responded most favourably to imagery (millennials even higher at 88%), and 63% to informative content. Japanese (45%) (51% for millennials) and Australian (54%) (61% for millennials) tended more towards the appeal of the deals being advertised. In general boomers were much more focused on content.
Traveller preferences and influences vary by country and generation, so hotel marketers need to personalise campaign strategies to have the most impact on different audiences.