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HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Hong Kongers spending the most among Asian travellers this Chinese New Year

Travel budgets increase in 2016 for this holiday.

Wego.com, the leading travel search site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, recently shared insights into the higher budgets of travellers from capitals throughout Asia who celebrate Chinese New Year.

According to a release from Wego, the average booking values for both flights and hotels on Wego.com is much higher this year, compared to 2015. “It’s an indication that travellers have allowed a higher budget allocation for travel during the Chinese New Year period, some more than others," said James Huang, Market Development
Manager, North Asia.

Chinese New Year is a significant annual travel period that is celebrated Asia-wide. “It’s very much a period to spend with family, which either requires a trip back home, or a group holiday somewhere special,” Huang continued. “However we’re seeing several cities with higher spends this year.”

Here's more from Wego:

“The highest year on year difference in average booking value, for both flights and hotels, is from Hong Kong travellers, with a jump of around 10 percent. Similarly Taiwanese and Malaysian travel budgets have increased by 8 percent this year,” said Huang.

The majority of higher spend was attributed to hotels. “We’ve seen an increase of 20 percent in spend per hotel stay during Chinese New Year, and a slight increase in spending on airfares,” Huang explained. “Our annual analysis of the Chinese travel market revealed that over 70 percent say that cheap airfares were the most important factor in their purchasing decision, with 20 percent selecting direct flights as the most important, and less than 10 percent relied on specific airline brand of choice.”

The motivation behind hotel selection however, returned a completely different picture. “Over 78 percent of Chinese travellers said the most important factor in selecting a hotel is its location,” said Huang. “Over 67 percent said that positive reviews of fast and stable internet played a larger role than price (40 percent) in their decision making process.” “These insights tell us that Chinese travellers are expecting more from hotels in terms of service and have the spending power to support their selections,” Huang added. “While airfare costs remain a key consideration, incorporating special offers that highlight unique experiences would benefit a carrier’s popularity.”

“We saw an increase in spontaneous booking trends last year for Chinese New Year travel on Wego.com, compared to 2014, and also longer duration of trips, especially in China itself," Huang continued. "This trend also extends to other Asian countries who celebrate Chinese New Year, such as Malaysia and Singapore, yet the shortest booking pace comes from Indonesia with an average of 40 days. The popularity and wide network of low-cost carriers in Indonesia has undoubtedly facilitated more flexibility for spontaneous travel.”

Device booking behaviour is also changing says Huang with over 50 percent of pre Chinese New Year travel planning taking place on mobile. “Wego users also responded positively to completing their booking process through their smartphone, with 50 percent making travel purchases if the price suits their budget.”

“These shifts in Chinese New Year travel planning and booking are a good benchmark and indicator of the evolving tastes and trends of the Chinese traveller, that can help the travel industry improve their targeting of this unique and growing travel market,” Huang said in conclusion.

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