Visa study finds Hong Kong consumers planning to increase their travel budget as tourism bounces back
Visa today announced findings from its Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 4.0: Travel Consumption Insights1. According to the study, while Hong Kong consumers are prone to a more prudent approach in household spending in general in the coming 12 months, over half of the respondents (53%) desire to travel immediately after quarantine restrictions are lifted. They are either saving money to spend on travel later or fully resume the same travel budgeting approach they used pre-pandemic. In addition, at least one third of consumers (33%) are also willing to set aside 20% or more of their monthly household income for outbound travels.
The study polled consumers after the HKSAR government announced the 0+3 quarantine arrangements, which signalled the end of mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors to Hong Kong. The findings from the report shed light on consumer’s latest travel intentions, purpose for travel and reasons for interesting shifts in consumers’ spending behaviours.
“It’s such an exciting time for travel to bounce back as we witness the resumption of normality for the first time in over two years. Our Consumer Payment Attitudes Study highlights insightful market trends that help us better understand travel and spending preferences in Hong Kong, and has enabled the creation and customization of travel offers that will aid in making the most of everyone’s vacation planning”, says Maaike Steinebach, General Manager of Hong Kong and Macau, Visa. “We’re looking forward to working more closely with our partners in the travel and hospitality industries, as well as to provide all travellers with an easy, reliable and secure solution to make payments no matter where they are in the world.”
Travel Consumption Looking Optimistic for Consumers in 2023
The Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 4.0: Travel Consumption Insights has also revealed some interesting trends as Hong Kong consumers start to plan their travels for the year ahead.
- Save now, spend later and spend more: While over half of Hong Kong consumers (53%) are eager to travel once quarantine restrictions are lifted by either saving money now or resume the same travel budgeting approach as pre-COVID times, only 27% responded that they would rather take a cautious or prudent approach to outbound travel due to health or economic reasons. In addition, consumers in their mid-40s to 50s are willing to set aside a larger travel budget compared to other age groups, while a majority of Gen Z (36%) are planning to save money now and spend it on travel once restrictions ease.
- Boom in immersive experiential travel: In the post-pandemic era, most Hong Kong outbound travellers have prioritized cleanliness and hygiene (45%) as their major concern. Aside from being motivated by local cuisines (43%) and local shopping (34%), there is a renewed interest in wellness (38%), exploring remote locations (29%), spiritual travel (28%) and once-in-a-lifetime experiences (28%). Meanwhile, consumers expect to veer away from luxury experiences (49%), volunteering (30%), and workcations (32%) in their upcoming travel plans.
- Hong Kongers have their sight set on Japan for gourmet pleasures: Travelers are making a beeline for Japan, with 60% of those interested to travel in the next two years listing Japan as the most desirable destination, followed by Mainland China (27%), Taiwan (23%), South Korea (18%) and Thailand (14%). Yielding from the ‘Gourmet Paradise’ of Hong Kong, many travellers remarked that their top priority for travelling anywhere is to enjoy culinary pleasures. For those who plan to visit Mainland China, 45% have indicated that the main purpose will be for reunion with family and friends.
- Growing interest in multi-destination travel to the GBA: Prior to COVID, 75% of Hong Kong consumers would visit cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) less than 6 times a year. However, results from this research indicated that there is a growing interest in visiting the GBA with nearly one in two consumers (47%) interested in making multi-destination GBA trips. 90% of respondents desire a trip over a duration of 3 days or more, and of which 55% are interested in a trip over a duration of 6 days or more.
“With the resumption of travel normality on the horizon, consumers in Hong Kong believe that things will get better in the near future. According to our study, at least 50% of consumers are confident that restrictions will ease further, enabling greater flexibility during vacations abroad,” says Steinebach. “Given the increased focus on health and hygiene, we expect a greater use of contactless cards and wallets as an additional safety measure throughout the duration of their holiday.”
1 Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 4.0: Travel Consumption Insights polled 700 consumers in Hong Kong across different ages, income levels and districts during the period of September – October 2022. Online interviews were conducted with respondents from 18 to 55 years old, with a minimum of HKD 5,000 monthly household income per month.
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