Southeast Asia has remained a popular destination among Asian leisure travellers, with Thailand being the most popular destination in the region, according to the annual survey by Travel + Leisure magazine.
"Ninety-five percent of respondents indicated they traveled within Southeast Asia for leisure purposes in the last 12 months, similar to last year's results,” said publisher Robert Fernhout. “Business travel within the region is stable as well; close to 60 per cent of respondents say they travelled for business within the region in the last year. That being said, the number of respondents that take 4 trips or more per year has grown considerably in 2012."
When it comes to Air Travel, the most popular among the magazine’s readers is Singapore Airlines.
"Although the majority of our readers usually opt for the traditional carriers, they do see low cost carriers as a good alternative for shorter direct flights and AirAsia is the leading choice here. Although nearly one in three readers has flown AirAsia in the last 12 months, only a very small percentage of our readers claim to fly low-cost carriers on an exclusive basis" said Fernhout.
On hotel stays, the respondents spent slightly shorter but more expensive stays compared to last year. The four- and five-star chains remain the most favourite.
"More than 95 per cent of readers stay in a four- or five-star hotel at least once a year, whereas over 41 per cent do so at least every other month. The boutique hotels and private villa's are popular with our readers as well; people are looking for unique experiences" said Fernhout.
The survey also showed a strong increase in the number of those who say they spend more than US$2,500 per month on luxury goods.
“The survey results establish once more a very clear correlation between travel and shopping/spending,” said Fernhout. Growth in travelling and spending “is in line with and a reflection of the robust growth in general of the Asian region”.
The 2012 annual reader survey, which responses from 709 readers mostly from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the Philippines, also showed that only 27 per cent of them said to never have read a magazine on tablet like iPad, compared to 40 per cent last year.