GrabAds, the renowned advertising division of the Southeast Asian superapp, Grab, has unveiled its groundbreaking SEA Travel Insights 2023 report. The findings are clear: the desire to travel is not just alive but thriving. A staggering 72% of Grab users are gearing up to journey abroad within the next year. This is a significant leap from the 39% recorded when international borders first reopened in 2022, marking an 84% increase in travel intent within a mere 12-month span. This surge suggests brands should transition from short-lived “revenge travel” campaigns to strategies focused on cultivating long-term, repeat customers.
Deep Dive: Travel Preferences and Behaviours
Families Seek Stress-Free Travel Experiences
2023 is set to witness families as a dominant segment in the travel sphere. A notable 86% of prospective travellers are planning at least one group trip. However, travelling with loved ones, especially children, comes with its set of challenges. Safety and convenience emerge as top priorities. Accommodation choices reflect this trend, with family suites and connecting rooms (65%), child-centric amenities (58%), and safety measures like child-proofing (48%) being paramount. Travel advertisers, take note: campaigns emphasizing “family-friendly” features are likely to resonate more with this audience.
Business Travel Makes a Comeback
Business travellers are back in action, with 40% of respondents anticipating an average of four business trips in the upcoming year, marking a 14% year-on-year increase. Proximity to public transport and eateries (57%) and a safe locale (46%) are crucial factors for this segment when booking accommodations.
Certainty is the New Trend
Post-pandemic, travellers are leaving nothing to chance. The report indicates that 64% of travellers are initiating their long-haul trip plans at least a month in advance. This meticulous planning extends to budgeting, with 47% having a fixed budget weeks before their journey. Moreover, a significant 62% are opting for travel insurance. Brands aiming to capture this market should engage travellers early, during their exploration phase.
Loyalty Programs: An Untapped Goldmine
A 2023 customer intelligence study highlighted that a whopping 90% of consumers in the region are inclined towards brands offering loyalty programs. However, 78% of Southeast Asians haven’t subscribed to any hotel loyalty initiative. With 73% planning approximately three leisure trips in the next year, the potential for repeat business is immense. Brands have a golden opportunity to enlighten potential travellers about the perks of loyalty programs.
GrabAds’ unparalleled access to first-party data empowers travel brands to stay attuned to evolving travel preferences. A recent collaboration with Mediabank Inc. for the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) showcased the power of Grab’s ecosystem, promoting lesser-known Japanese tourist spots to Grab users.
Jennie Johnson, Head of Marketing at GrabAds, remarked, “GrabAds data revealed a massive increase of 84% in international travel intent compared to just one year ago. Last year, brands may have focused on short-term impulse campaigns based on pent-up lockdown FOMO (fear of missing out) – but they now need to shift towards developing long-term relationships with savvy Southeast Asian travellers as they dream, plan, book and experience travel.”
She further added, “It could be as simple as maintaining year-round communication with consumers or utilising online to offline channels to promote the latest offers. For example, the campaign we’ve built with Media Bank Inc. for the Japan Tourism Agency utilises our Grab fleet and app to creatively target users of our platform. At GrabAds, we look forward to working closely with travel and tourism brands to innovate and provide an exciting, dynamic travel experience for Southeast Asian jetsetters”