Travelers willing to pay extra for experiencing different cultures.
Friday, 27th March 2009
Source : Visa and the Pacific Asia Travel Association
Cultural experiences, good customer service and exotic destinations key factors in helping determine extra spending

Experiencing other cultures or receiving quality customer service are high on travelers' lists when on holiday and they are willing to pay extra for it according to the Visa and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) ‘Determining Travel Preferences in 2009 and Beyond'1 survey.

The top five items that survey respondents said they would spend extra while on holiday were: experiencing different cultures (57 percent), hassle-free service (54 percent), good customer service (53 percent), exotic destinations (53 percent) and cultural immersion programs (40 percent).

Meranda Chan, Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, Visa and PATA Board Director said: "As time is precious, people want to make the most out of their holidays and so are willing to spend more to have a unique experience that goes off smoothly. It is now easier than ever to travel to a wide range of destinations and people are using this opportunity to learn more about different cultures."

The most common extra that respondents from Australia (56 per cent) and Japan (55 percent) are willing to pay more for is experiencing local culture, whereas cultural immersion programs was the most popular for respondents from China (67 percent) – notably higher than the survey average of 40 percent.

Greg Duffell, President and CEO - PATA said:" Identifying what people are willing to pay more for on holiday gives the travel industry valuable insights into how best to attract tourists. From this information they can direct valuable marketing resources to create a win-win situation for both tourists and themselves."

Men Versus Women

Experiencing different cultures tops the list for both women (59 percent) and men (55 percent) on what they are willing to pay extra for but women put more emphasis on the location of a holiday than men. Women (56 percent) would pay extra for an exotic destination, making it their second overall choice compared with 51 percent of men, who voted it their fourth overall choice.

Duffell added: "Exotic destinations in Asia Pacific are certainly helping to attract more people to the region as travelers look for something different and a contrast to the traditional and mainstream type of vacation. We expect this trend to continue as tourists become travellers and search for a different type of holiday experience."

Service is another key area for which people will pay extra. Good customer service comes up trumps for men (54 percent compared with 52 percent of women), while women prefer to pay for hassle-free service (55 percent compared with 53 percent).

Top Five Items Travelers Would Pay Extra For

Top Five Items Men Would Pay Extra For

1 Commissioned by Visa and PATA, Determining Travel Preferences in 2009 and Beyond was an online survey conducted by Synovate from 7 to 28 August 2008. The survey asked 5,554 respondents from 11 key Asia Pacific travel source markets (Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States) about past and future travel plans. For each market, respondents were internet users, aged 18 years or above, had travelled for holidays in the past two years or have the intention to do so in 2009 or 2010.

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