Chinese travelers more positive about travel in 2021 than regional neighbors

Chinese travelers are more optimistic about making trips in 2021 than other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Research from Expedia Group Media Solutions shows more than three-quarters (77%) are positive about travel, the highest across the 11 markets in the study.

The positive sentiment is likely to be driven by recovery already being seen in China’s domestic market.

For example, recent quarterly earnings from Trip.com Group indicated near pre-pandemic levels for most of its business units domestically.

Conversely, only about a third of Japanese travelers feel positive about travel while 54% of Australian travelers say they are optimistic.

The research also looks at where travelers were searching in December, with domestic destinations leading in Japan, Thailand, Australia, India and Korea.

Singapore was inevitably the exception with international searches having the edge over domestic trips in the small city-state.

Respondents were also asked what would boost their confidence, with two-thirds in Australia and China saying they would feel more comfortable with a widely available vaccine. This dropped to 46% for Japanese travelers.

Flexible policies around refunds and cancellations also play a significant role in boosting confidence for 53% of respondents, while 51% say not having to worry about healthcare expenses while traveling would help.

Other factors currently influencing destination decisions for APAC travelers include 64% citing health requirements such as mask enforcement, as well as proper COVID-19 hygiene protocols.

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