As pent-up travel demand continues to be unleashed across the region, a recent study by Hilton reveals that Asia Pacific consumers are quickly embracing travel once more with renewed motivations: to rebuild family bonds, and to revive the body and soul.
Following the release of Hilton’s 2022 Global Trends Report, new data from a survey conducted with nearly 6,000 respondents across Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India show that after two years of closed borders, mandated restrictions, and streamlined social circles – families cannot wait to travel together.
“Travel has been surging across many parts of Asia Pacific,” said Ben George, senior vice president and commercial director, Hilton, Asia Pacific. “Our findings clearly show pent-up desires to reconnect with family as travel takes on a deeper meaning to strengthen these bonds by creating shared moments and memories together. In this new reinvigorated age of travel, when you want to ensure your loved ones have the best travel experience, it matters where you stay. Exceptional hospitality and innovative guest experiences that anticipate evolving needs go a long way in giving families the peace of mind knowing that they will be taken care of on every level – from confirming connecting rooms at the time of booking to customizing preferences with a convenient touch of an app.”
Periods of social distancing, isolation, and quarantine restrictions over the last two years have kept loved ones from gathering. Or in other cases, families have been longing to catch up on celebrations with extended family and missed summer vacations. This year, travel is the way to make up for lost time among family members as they reunite and rejuvenate the senses through new experiences.
Whether it’s the immediate family that’s stayed together for the past few years through multiple lockdowns, or the long-distance family that longs to see loved ones again – travelers from Asia Pacific are prioritizing travel with their nearest and dearest, choosing spouses and significant others as their top travel companion (43%), followed by their children of all ages (38%), parents (25%) and extended family members (23%)1.
While health, safety and cleanliness remain a top priority, family travelers across all six markets are ever more motivated to be together. Besides traveling as a group, family travelers are also looking for ways to spend more time together while on holiday. This new emphasis on togetherness is not only reflected in choosing pastimes, but also in preferred room arrangements — highlighting the importance for travelers to consider where they stay.
Singaporeans (60%), Malaysians (57%) and Australians (51%) now place a lot more thought in planning family-friendly activities during trips, as respondents from these markets list finding activities that everyone in the family will enjoy among their top travel concerns.2
When it comes to deciding which hotel or resort to book, family-friendly facilities and activity offerings within the property are also a top priority, especially for family travelers from Indonesia (60%) and Malaysia (59%), followed by Singapore (49%), India (47%) Thailand (45%) and Australia (40%).
For markets such as Singapore (66%), Australia (61%) and India (57%), confirmed room upgrades before departure are an important hotel and resort offering, minimizing any uncertainty and giving families greater peace of mind.
Travelers from Singapore (30%), India (27%) and Indonesia (25%) prefer connecting rooms3 for easier access to family bonding activities and to make up for lost time.
Fun for the whole family: Given this strong demand to travel with loved ones, Hilton offers exceptional experiences for the whole family. Escape to the cliffside villas of Conrad Koh Samui and create new memories together with coral reef swims, sunset yacht rides and various hands-on workshops such as kombucha making or coffee roasting. For a unique experience, families can pick up eco-friendly farming techniques at the resort’s Iris Farm which is leading the farm-to-table movement and growing organic produce for the hotel’s bars and restaurants.
At Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa, families can opt for a relaxing day out at one of seven family-friendly pools, the private beach or the nearby Sabeto Hotspring. Kids will have a blast at the complimentary IKA Kids Club, with fun-filled activities scheduled all-day – from coconut bowling and crab hunting to learning cultural dances and science experiments. Hilton properties in India, such as Conrad Bengaluru and DoubleTree by Hilton Goa-Panaji offer in-room board games upon request, perfect for kick-starting family game night traditions – for a home away from home. Across Hilton properties in China, like DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing Badaling, little ones are well entertained in the heart of Yanqing District, or Beijing’s “Summer Garden,” which gives them access to fun-filled adventures such as exploring the Badaling Great Wall and refuelling with many tempting eateries in the vicinity.
From family-friendly amenities, such as connecting rooms confirmed at the time of booking, to a range of kid-friendly experiences and facilities, Hilton’s exceptional service and signature hospitality offer guests the details that make for incredible stays. The award-winning Hilton Honors guest loyalty program opens up a world of exclusive perks like complimentary, space-available room upgrades for Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members. For families, Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton alleviates travel planning frustrations with seamless booking and instant confirmation – all from a click on the Hilton Honors app.
Maximizing each stay
While the pent-up travel demand is real, additional market insights by Hilton4 show that the increasing price of travel is also a growing concern and potential barrier in this recovery climate, further putting a spotlight on where customers choose to stay.
Cost of travel was ranked as the top travel obstacle for travelers from Malaysia (57%), Indonesia (49%) and Australia (41%), which ranks higher than their concern over health risks (Malaysia 51%, Indonesia 40%, Australia 34%).
Travelers from Thailand, Singapore and India reported that concern over travel costs (44%, 43%, 40%) are at similar levels as health risks (47%, 44%, 41%), respectively.
Stays for Every Budget: Across Hilton’s diverse portfolio of brands, guests can easily find the right hotel for any occasion or budget. Whether by the sea or in the city, guests can enjoy positive, upbeat service hospitality at fantastic value. Hilton Garden Inn Seoul Gangnam offers families upscale and affordable accommodations right in the heart of downtown Gangnam, while at Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao, guests can escape to tranquillity with the hotel’s twin outdoor pools, or bask on the beach, all in a quick 30-minute ride from the airport.
Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, and an exclusive member discount.
Compounded stress during the pandemic has taken a toll on couples as they turn to travel to reignite the romance. This puts increasing importance for travelers to consider where they stay to create the most meaningful connections while on vacation. Having a romantic meal with their spouse or significant other consistently ranks high (#2) among other preferred activities when they have alone time while traveling with family.5
However, parents hoping to steal a moment to themselves while on vacation may find it a challenge to keep the kids entertained. Screens are the go-to distraction to keep children entertained, but as the survey reveals, there are differences in parenting styles and attitudes towards screen time for kids. While some families enjoy sharing screen time with their children, others may experience the pressure to limit screen time.
Across all markets, about 96% of parents inevitably allow their children some amount of screen time to keep them occupied while on vacation.
Respondents with kids6, particularly 51% of parents in Thailand and India, share that they feel some amount of guilt for allowing their children to use their devices.