The global travel bookings for the summer (June 1 – August 31) have already surpassed 2019 levels, with intra-regional travel leading the way, shows Trip.com data.
One of the world’s biggest Online Travel Agencies (OTA), headquartered in Shanghai, Trip.com Group shared its data and trends to identify the patterns emerging as travel rebounds around the world.
According to the study, the company revealed that overall bookings on the Trip.com platform for this summer have increased by 170 percent when compared to the same period in 2022. Specifically, thanks to the relaxation of travel restrictions in Asia-Pacific (APAC), summer bookings have skyrocketed by 356 percent yearly in Asia, with European markets recording a 72 percent yearly increase for this summer.
Travelers “wait-and-see” for long-haul tours
The OTA found that short-haul regional tours are the preferred trip style this summer, with short-distance flight bookings accounting for 44 percent of all bookings in Asia and more than half of those in Europe (67 percent).
On the other hand, the percentage of long-haul summer travel in Europe dropped significantly from 48 percent in 2019 to 13 percent this year. Over in Asia, the portion is up slightly from 22 percent in 2019 to 27 percent.
Specifically, “Asian travelers are focusing on travel closer to home. The top 10 most-booked cities in Asia are – Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taipei,”, said Trip.com.
The world’s biggest gaming hub, Macau, is not in Asia’s top 10 most-booked cities. However, Macau is in the 8th place in the most searched cities for Asian travelers.
Likewise, for European travellers, nine out of 10 destinations booked this summer are European cities – such as London, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris; Bangkok is the only destination on the list outside of Europe.
Interestingly, even though European users are in “wait-and-see” mode for long-distance travel, search demand is still prominent – Trip.com search data show that European users are looking for hotels in Asian and Middle East destinations, with Bali Island, Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Marrakech listed in the top-10 most searched hotel destinations.
Music festival, theme park – the new engine of Asian summer travel
Music festivals and theme parks are gaining momentum in the tourism market, especially for the summer vacation period. According to data from Trip.com’s UGC platform Trip Moments, discussions on ‘going to music events’ while traveling are trending in Hong Kong and South Korean sites, especially music fans from the Chinese mainland looking to flock to Hong Kong for concerts and performances in 2023.
Theme parks and water parks are drawing traveler’s attention this summer as well, with some new theme parks opening up in the region, such as the “Making of Harry Potter” in Tokyo, which will be the largest indoor Harry Potter attraction in the world and the first Warner Bros. Studio Tour to open in Asia.
“Indeed, most travelers have chosen intra-regional getaways this summer, but that doesn’t mean they will have less fun. Travelers are seeking unique and mind-blowing travel experiences this summer that they missed for the past three years,” Senior Marketing Director of Trip.com Han Feng commented.