Digital channels have added to the wealth of information available about travel destinations around the world, and internet users in Southeast Asia have added a number of web-based options as they research their next trip.
Reliance on information sources for travel varied significantly across the three countries studied by W&S Group. In Indonesia, nearly three-quarters of internet users had learned about their most recent travel destination from a tourism board—nearly twice the rate of respondents in nearby Thailand. In Vietnam, meanwhile, no respondents used tourism boards.
Social media was the No. 1 source of travel destination info in Vietnam instead, and nearly nine in 10 respondents had used it. That outpaced usage in Indonesia and Thailand, even though social media was still the No. 2 response in both countries.
In Indonesia, most internet users (56.5%) said they had booked transportation for their most recent international trips online. In Thailand, the share was lower, at 42.5%, and in Vietnam fell to 35.5%. For hotel bookings, figures were similar in Thailand and Vietnam but feel to just 17.0% in Indonesia, where more than seven in 10 preferred to book rooms with a ticket agent.
eMarketer estimates that the Asia-Pacific region as a whole has a fast-growing digital travel market that is expected to surpass that of Western Europe in 2016 and North America in 2018.