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Better planning makes for better holidays

Sep 14. 2017
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By The Nation

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A regional survey commissioned by Beringer Vineyards, Napa Valley, has revealed that while the majority (86 per cent) of Thais claim to long for their next vacation and most consider themselves well-travelled (74 per cent), over three quarters (82 percent) believe that they could have maximised their annual leave if only they were better at travel planning.

Sixty two percent of respondents from Thailand even admitted that they have gone to a destination they have no interest in, just because someone else was willing to plan it for them.

The survey of more than 5,000 respondents aged 25-65 years old across five countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia was commissioned last July to better understand attitudes towards vacation planning – whether Thais have the know-how or a genuine fear of planning, to who takes charge and how much time is invested in making plans.

“We were shocked to find that there’s a growing trend of Thais who are short changing themselves when it comes to getting the most from their annual leave, given that they work so hard to earn it,” commented Chris Thomas, regional marketing director of Beringer Vineyards. 

“In response to the findings, Beringer has launched a campaign on the world’s largest travel site TripAdvisor, to inspire a holiday planning revolution. We want people to see that making vacation planning a social occasion is the way forward. A little bit of planning can have a huge impact on the kind of holiday you experience and it’s well within everyone’s reach. We believe that vacation planning is always better when shared with others over a glass of wine,” added Thomas. 

Survey findings also revealed that 31 per cent of Thais actually fear vacation planning, 22 per cent hate it and do their best to avoid it and 35 per cent likened vacation planning to being at work. However, 96 per cent agreed that sharing the responsibility of vacation planning makes it more likely to happen, and more enjoyable. 

 While well over half of Thais (66 per cent) find themselves rolling over annual leave to the next financial year, or losing it completely, a staggering 86 per cent acknowledged that they could have enjoyed more trips if only they were better at planning.

The main reasons Thais are not maximising annual leave include challenging work schedules/responsibilities (76 per cent) and conflicting schedules of travel buddies (40 per cent). Moreover, 14 per cent shared that they find vacation planning so overwhelming that they shut down completely. 

Thais typically only start vacation planning just eight weeks or less before their departure date. They only spend an average of eight hours to research a destination, prepare an itinerary and secure the best deals. They admit that this last minute approach does add to their stress levels unnecessarily. Only six per cent of Thais would commit to more than seven months ahead to plan a trip. 

The top three holiday regrets Thais would most want to change if they could turn back time on that holiday include better destination research (73 per cent), taking advantage of lower cost travel by booking early (64 per cent), and encouraging social planning with friends to make planning more enjoyable (39 per cent).

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