A survey by OTA, Travelzoo Asia Pacific, reveals 70% of its subscribers prefe travel over luxury goods.
When asked specifically what they would give up in order to travel more a high percentage of respondents in the markets surveyed were willing to spend less on luxury goods: Australia 60%, mainland China 69%, Hong Kong 74%, Taiwan 79%, Japan 66%.
This trend indicates a major shift in consumer spending habits, with preference on travel and experiences.
Travelzoo subscribers are also upbeat about their travel prospects in 2012. About 65% in all markets across Asia Pacific expect to spend more on travel in 2012 than they did in 2011.
Australian subscribers plan to spend the most per person per leisure trip, at an average of US$2,456. They are followed by mainland Chinese at US$1,415, Hong Kongers US$969, Taiwanese US$785 and Japanese US$1,431.
In addition, Hong Kong subscribers plan to travel the most frequently, at an average of five leisure trips per year.
Travel frequency and spending in 2012
Travelzoo’s subscribers are highly flexible when it comes to travel plans - 68% of mainland Chinese, 63% of Hong Kongers and 61% of Taiwanese had booked a trip on Travelzoo when they had no plans to travel prior to seeing the recommended deal.
"According to the figure we can see a strong interest and readiness to spend more on travel, despite economic uncertainties. This is good news for the travel industry. It is a trend that will continue through 2012," said Jason Yap, CEO of Travelzoo Asia Pacific.
As for preferred destinations, 24% mainland Chinese travellers rated Australia as their top holiday destination. Japan remained the destination of choice for 41% of Hong Kongers and 46% of Taiwanese. Domestic travel topped the list for 45% of Australians and 37% of Japanese travellers.
Top five destinations by markets
Beach holidays are most popular among mainland Chinese (61%), followed by well-being vacations (31%) and self-drive vacations (30%). Hot Spring and spa resorts, beachfront hotels and resorts ranked top for accommodation choices.
These trends show a strong demand for high-end vacations by Chinese travellers who have an average monthly personal income of US$1,560. This is three times higher than the national average of RMB3,096 (US$486) per month in non-private sectors.
Top five holidays by markets