Young Asians lead online travel revolution

Young Asians lead online travel revolution

Asian visitors to travel websites tend to be younger than their counterparts in Europe and North America, according to new survey. While customers from the Asia Pacific region accounted for just 26% of traffic to global online travel sites in 2010, compared with 27% from North America and 36% from Europe, more than half Asian visitors are under the age of 34. Considering that Asia Pacific accounts for 41% of total global internet users, it appears clear that the Asian market will eventually come to dominate the global online travel market.This was just one of the findings from a study undertaken by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and digital marketing intelligence company, comScore Inc. The study, released yesterday, also found that two-thirds of the fastest-growing markets in terms of visits to airline websites are in Asia. This is led by China, which saw 6.8 million (+147%) more airline website visits last year than in 2009. In the Asia Pacific region, low-cost carriers (LCCs) have posted significant growth over the past year. AirAsia added 1.2 million (+51%) more visitors to its website in the past year, while Tiger Airways tripled its online traffic to reach 1.8 million visitors. Most of Asia Pacific’s LCCs have audiences that are substantially younger than their international counterparts. For example, 55% of AirAsia.com’s visitors are under 34, while at Tiger Airways this figure rises to 59%, and at Cebu Pacific to 60%. By contrast, the percentage of under 34s using the websites of North America’s two largest LCCs – Southwest Airlines and JetBlue – is just 31% and 35% respectively. In Europe, the figure is only slightly higher, with easyJet receiving only 41% of online visits from under 34s, and Ryanair 46%. John Koldowski, deputy CEO and head of the Office of Strategy Management at PATA said the low cost carrier trend matched its views on low cost carriers.”PATA sees low-cost carriers as an increasingly important part of the travel ecosystem in the Asia Pacific, and this study has proven that. As consumers across demographic segments continue to turn to the web for their travel needs, it is important for brands – hotels, airlines, travel agents and even tourism boards – to develop a strategic online strategy to succeed in this increasingly competitive market,” he said.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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