The Me Effect: A look into Asia Pacific’s five emerging traveller types

Karun Budhraja

Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Amadeus Asia Pacific

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In our landmark report Shaping the future of travel in Asia Pacific: The big FOUR travel effects – we’ve identified a fragmentation of the Asia Pacific travel market into ever-increasing niches – dubbed ‘The Me Effect’.

The Me Effect: A look into Asia Pacific’s five emerging traveller types

While travel in Asia Pacific in the past has often been undertaken in large groups through leisure packages sold in bulk, or in large organised business groups, future travellers will be insmaller groups, or alone, and for a much wider range of reasons.

Our research has identified five unique emerging traveller types:

The Visit Friends and Relatives (VFR) traveller

An increasingly important reason for travel in Asia Pacific is to visit friends and relatives as relationships become internationalized. This will become an important reason for travel, especially from countries with large diasporas such as India – which has a particularly high incidence of VFR travellers with 43% stating that VFR is the main reason for their leisure travel.

The independent traveller

Greater access to and familiarity with the internet will drive an increasing number of travellers to self-manage their travel research and tailor their bookings. Across the seven countries researched, 46% of travellers are now mainly making their own travel arrangements and bookings via the internet, but the proportion who believes that they will do so in the future rises to 52%.

The Generation ‘S’ (Senior)

The over 50s, and more specifically the over 65s, are accounting for an increasingly significant portion of leisure travellers – especially in Australia and Japan where over 65s now account for over 20% of all leisure travellers. Overall, there will be an increase of 250 million over 65s by 2030 across the seven countries we have researched, with most of the increase coming from China and India.

The small business traveller

While small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) account for a majority of employment across the Asia Pacific region, they currently generate a minority of business travellers – accounting for less than 20% of business travellers. We anticipate that more SMEs will seek to work across borders with customers, suppliers or business partners, driving increased regional travel by both the self-employed and employees of SMEs.

The female business traveller

Currently in Asia Pacific, travel is dominated by men, accounting for almost three-quarters of all business travellers, particularly in Japan, Korea, Indonesia and India. We estimate that in 2011 there were approximately 4.5 million international business trips by women from the seven countries that we have studied – but by 2030 this will have increased by 400%.

For a more detailed explanation of ‘The Me Effect’ and the five emerging traveler types be sure to download the full report: Shaping the future of travel in Asia Pacific: The big FOUR travel effects.


Asia Pacific, Research