Asian travellers will be shunning Western holiday destinations this year in favour of destinations closer to home – and safer, according to the results of a new survey. In an online survey that polled more than 7,680 travellers across Asia for the booking site Travelzoo, no Western destination was able to crack the top five spots.

Instead, travellers from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore said they plan to spend their vacation time and money in destinations closer to home, with Japan emerging the most popular destination for this year, particularly among residents of China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

More than 22% of Chinese respondents who said they plan to visit Japan this year are also repeat visitors. After Japan, Australia holds much appeal for Asian tourists, with 65% of Chinese respondents citing safety reasons as one of its primary attractions.

“Concerns about safety from terrorist attacks weigh in heavily on Asian tourists’ travel decision-making,” said Vivian Hong Travelzoo Asia Pacific president Vivian Hong.

“Nearly 80% of them travel with family so they are very mindful of the security measures. As a result, destinations within the Asia Pacific region, such as Japan and Australia, offer a compelling alternative.”

Overall, this year will see a spike in Chinese travel, with 70% of respondents saying they plan to travel abroad two times or more – an increase of 10% compared to the same period last year.

Similarly, nearly 30% of respondents in Hong Kong said they plan to travel four times or more this year, marking a 5% increase.

One of the driving forces behind the travel spike – millennials with families and disposable income, added Hong.

“China is witnessing a generation of millennials that is becoming the dominant force in leading the travel wave,” she said.

“Most of them are married and have children now. They love to spend more of their disposable income on a sunny beach holiday with their family.”

Chinese travellers are increasing their holiday budgets, with the number of tourists budgeting more than US$2,040 (RM9.082)on travel, marking a 10% increase compared to last year.

Survey results also showed that in the last 12 months, there’s been an increase of 10% in Chinese tourists taking two or more holidays.

“Despite the upheavals of 2016, we see a clearly increased level of travel interest from Asian tourists,” Hong added.

“Asia’s ascendancy in the global economy, consumer confidence in Asia remains strong and it’s reflected in the travel industry. This is especially the case for China.” – AFP Relaxnews