Milieu Insight study reveals SEA domestic travel plans for summer 2022

We are now into summer season 2022, travel restrictions are gradually lifted and reduced across many countries around the world. The world is gradually opening up again and we are starting to travel for our holidays again. Although countries have opened up to welcome international visitors again, some countries might still prefer to stay back and continue with their domestic travel holiday plans. Milieu Insight, a Southeast Asian consumer research and analytics firm, recently announced findings of domestic travel plans for summer vacation across SEA countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. This Milieu Insight study reveals SEA domestic travel plans for summer 2022.

This study by Milieu Insight would be useful and informative as countries start to reopen their country, welcoming back international visitors. While they also need time to ramp up their travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industries back to pre-pandemic level, travel insights would come in handy for inbound travel and tourism organisers/partners in terms of their destination marketing, publicity and awareness campaigns. 

From this study, respondents from the Philippines and Indonesia have shown the highest willingness for domestic travel. Movement restrictions across Asia have been gradually lifted, the travel and tourism industries are finally opening up. There are over 80% of domestic travelers in Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam, that have indicated a likelihood to engage with travel agent services for their domestic travel and vacation plans.

Travelers from the Philippines remain most concerned with the pandemic 

An interesting point – travelers from Indonesia (89%), Vietnam (83%) and Thailand (79%) have expressed the least concern for themselves when it comes to domestic travel. The travelers willingness to travel is also reflected in the domestic travel policies of those countries as there are minimum restrictions involved in their inter-state/inter-provincial travels. In the month of February 2022, Vietnam had a total of 9.6 million domestic travellers.  

Another key and interesting point highlighted – Travelers is more widely accepted by travelers is due to the fear of a pandemic resurgence as they do not wish to be unwittingly stranded from home and work. This is totally understandable as countries can go into lockdown mode or revert back to its COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and measures that would affect traveling between countries.

On the other hand, 40% of respondents from the Philippines remain highly concerned for their safety even towards domestic travel. For the Philippines, domestic travel is still only limited to select designations and with restrictions (as of 11th May 2022). 

Travel habits and preferences of domestic travelers in SEA

What are the travel habits and preferences of domestic travelers in SEA for this upcoming summer vacation? 

Most travelers across all five countries are looking to unwind and reconnect with their family after 2 years of pandemic isolation (Philippines 83%, Indonesia 82%, Vietnam 78%, Malaysia 81%, Thailand 79%).

Recently, in April 2022, Indonesia saw mudik mass migration for Idul Fitri (end of Ramadan), where 31% of the population was estimated by the Indonesian Transport Ministry to travel back to their hometowns and spend time with their extended family.  

For the domestic travelers across all five countries, hotels remain their top choice. Half of travelers in Vietnam show preference for Resorts, and more than half from Thailand also prefer Pool Villas (54%)

Where are the destinations that the domestic travelers would like to visit? Those destinations that are family friendly should look to receive high popularities this summer, especially places that are inclusive towards multi-generational groups. Some of these activities could be a road trip to a national park or other tourist spots in a neighbouring state, or visiting a beach resort that provides entertainment for all ages, or even taking time off to unwind from the big city hustle and bustle in a tranquil village. 

Travel agencies sought after even for domestic travels

Do travel agencies still have a place in a post pandemic world? The study revealed insights that travel agencies are still sought after even for domestic travels. SEA travelers will still engage with a travel agency to plan for their domestic travel and vacation plans, despite only traveling within their home countries. 

Especially those from Indonesia (85%), the Philippines (82%), and Vietnam (83%). Engaging with a travel agent may ensure a less stressful trip, creating more time and leisure for travellers to enjoy their first post-pandemic vacation with their loved ones. 

Methodology

Based on Milieu Insight surveys with N=1000 respondents each from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, conducted in April 2022. 

Personal Thoughts and Views

This is part of my ongoing “Special Theme Q2 2022 – Fully Restarting Tourism” series, covering both outbound and inbound travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industries worldwide. Milieu Insight study provides great insights into domestic tourism on Southeast Asia countries, helping countries to plan their marketing, publicity and awareness campaigns. This Milieu Insight study might be useful for travel agencies and travelers that are planning to visit those Southeast Asia countries.

As travel restrictions are gradually lifted across the world, we should be witnessing a (truly and finally) fully restarting tourism movement in Q2-Q3/Q4 2022. The travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality industries around the world would need time to ramp up, getting back to speed, from getting skilled and experienced staff back, to re-training and getting back to pre-pandemic levels again. 

The route ahead for the world travel and tourism industries is still bumpy with incoming headwinds, we are still some time away from getting back to a more normalised period like pre-pandemic days. However, the world travel and tourism industries are definitely working hard to get themselves back up and running again. We can definitely see light at the end of the tunnel.

* Information and pictures courtesy of Milieu Insight and Ellerton & Co. *

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