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Three quarters of Hong Kong travelers use both online and offline touch points when making travel bookings: GfK

Japan, Australia and Taiwan top three destinations; 80 percent of all trips are at least 4 nights or more

The travel industry is getting increasingly complex, driven by rapid digitalization and the proliferation of smart devices which have considerably altered the dynamics of a travel booking in recent years. The latest study conducted in Hong Kong uncovered that 84 percent of travelers there used online touch points at some point during their travel booking process, of which 10 percent used solely online.

An interesting insight from the survey is the fact that offline touch points are still heavily relied upon even in this developed country, used by nine in ten (90%) travelers. In spite of the high usage of offline resources however, two-thirds of all travelers tend to eventually complete their booking process online.

“Previously a brick-and-mortar dominated trade, the travel sector has greatly evolved and today transcend geographical boundaries, where companies’ target customers could be hundreds of miles away,” highlighted Global Travel Director at GfK, Laurens Van Den Oever. “Local travel agents, recognizing the popularity of the internet and online booking platforms, have also started investing in the development of instant-booking mobile apps that cover flight, accommodation and travel packages,” he said.

Among all the touch points, the most popular—used by nearly half (48%) of all travelers in Hong Kong is online travel agents. Articles on travel related publications are the second most accessed platforms, relied on by 43 percent of travelers, while travel agency website/app ranks third—visited by over one in three (36%). In today’s social media landscape, it is interesting to highlight that only one in five (22%) turn to social media; with Facebook having the highest reach of all the various social networking platforms.

GfK conducted the Consumer Travel Tracker online survey in September 2014 amongst 520 Hong Kong consumers who had booked an outbound leisure holiday with at least one overnight stay in the past 3 months.

“The survey revealed that trips lasting 4-7 nights are the most common, taken by two in three travelers,” observed Van Den Oever. “Japan, Australia and Taiwan emerged as the three top destinations among Hong Kongers, which explains the finding that the majority prefer going on comfortable trips where they can enjoy gourmet and shopping.”

Results showed that Japan and Taiwan are sought after for gourmet and shopping, especially favored by among singles (non-married) in the country. Meanwhile, Australia is a hot spot among nearly half (49%) of married travelers (with or without kids) and is the preferred destination for family gathering and classic tours.

Over 60 percent of Hong Kong travelers tend to to buy air ticket and accommodation separately; while a little less than half (48%) will go for bundled packages that include ticket and accommodation, garnering 19 and 17 percent votes respectively. 

GfK is participating at the at ITB Asia conference to be held at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on 29-31 October. Travel Director will be sharing these and more in depth findings during his presentation entitled Growing Online by Going Offline will be presented by GfK Travel Director, Laurens Van Den Oever on 30 October at the Hibiscus conference room of Hall D1.

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