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Asian tourists prefer pristine beaches, upscale hotels

Ted P. Torres - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A study on the vacation habits of rich Asians shows that pristine beaches and upscale hotels top the list for family vacations, and the Philippines may just be in a position to grab this opportunity.

The Visa Affluent Study 2015, conducted among well-heeled Asia-Pacific families, proves that the destination is just as important as the quality of accommodation.

Most preferred upscale hotels to mid-scale ones, although boutique hotels were also popular among respondents from Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Stuart Tomlinson, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam, said the Philippines, with its abundance of white sand beaches, island resorts and popular shopping destinations, is well positioned to attract affluent travelers.

“The results of the study present an opportunity for the public and private sectors to boost tourism activities and make the country a preferred destination,” he said.

When asked for the main activities when traveling abroad, 44 percent of respondents said their top pick is relaxing on a beach, 36 percent want shopping in popular or large shopping centers and 35 percent prefer exploring landmarks independently.

More than a quarter, or 27 percent of respondents, said they travel to try out popular local restaurants.

In the past three years, foreign arrivals in the Philippines averaged over four million, with an average receipt of over $4 billion per year. However, on a global scale, it accounts only for less than two percent of active tourists.

The study, which also looked into the travel patterns of affluent consumers in eight major markets in Asia Pacific, found that four in five, or 82 percent of respondents have traveled with their families in the past 12 months and that they prefer to spend their holidays within the region.

Over the past 12 months, Japan ranked as the top destination – garnering 26 percent of respondents’ nod – followed by Hong Kong and Australia.

In the same period, the survey shows the region’s most frequent affluent travelers are those from Singapore and China (3.1 trips each), followed by Hong Kong (2.8 trips) and India (2.0 trips).

James Lim, Visa head of consumer products for Asia and Pacific, said family vacations have become important occasions that affluent families in the region look forward to every year.

ASIA AND PACIFIC

ASIA PACIFIC

HONG KONG

HONG KONG AND AUSTRALIA

HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE

JAMES LIM

PERCENT

PHILIPPINES AND GUAM

SINGAPORE AND CHINA

STUART TOMLINSON

VISA AFFLUENT STUDY

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