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Booking.com reveals how Hong Kongers rediscovered travel closer to home this summer

September 24, 2020 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Travel may not be the same during these unprecedented times, but data from Booking.com reveals that the happiness travel can bring isn’t measured in kilometres. Travel plans may have changed drastically in 2020, but this has given travelers the opportunity to explore closer to home, discovering – and in many instances rediscovering – hidden gems on their doorstep.

Delving into this summer’s travel patterns, Booking.com calculated that the average distance Hong Kongers traveled (June – August) is down 89% (1) compared with the same time last year, which is higher with the global average of 63%. When looking back at the summer of 2019 Hong Kong travelers journeyed on average of 2753 kilometres per booking (1). This summer, that distance has dropped to just 292 kilometres per booking (1), approximately half the distance from Hong Kong to Xiamen!(2)

Happiness isn’t measured in kilometres

One fifth (20%)(3) of the total distance travelled by Hong Kongers between 1 June and 31 August 2020 was within the city, compared to only 1% during the same period of 2019, a 18.7 percentage point jump. Local travel offers and luxurious hotel staycations have become a popular choice for domestic travellers, as many have taken the opportunity to celebrate special occasions with their friends and families at high-class hotels as a result of social distancing measures.

Hometown rediscovered – All-amusive staycations

When it comes to accommodation choice, Hong Kongers were more likely to have opted for a hotel than they were last year, followed by holiday home stays and resorts which all topped the rankings of the trending accommodation types for Hong Kong travelers this summer (4). When looking back at the end of 2019, before we knew that our 2020 travel plans would be clouded by a global pandemic, 78% of Hong Kongers were already intending to stay at a hotel, and 31% were anticipating to stay at a ryokan(5).

The unexpected route to our travel plans this summer

While the events of the year have led to seismic shifts in travel behaviors and destination choices, travel has still found a way to satisfy many travelers’ wanderlust. At the end of 2019, Hong Kongers were dreaming of bustling city trips (70%) and an active trip outdoor (27%)(5). Some (52%) even dreamt of staying at least once in a unique accommodation like a castle or treehouse (5).

Many of those travel desires would typically have been met in far flung destinations, but this year many have discovered these simple pleasures next door. So whether it be a staycation inside the heart of the city in Wan Chai, or an active trip outdoor to the outlying islands of Sai Kung, the travel desires of many Hong Kongers have still been explored in 2020, just a little closer to home.

Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com, said: “During these unprecedented times it’s reassuring to see that while our plans and priorities may have changed, our passion for travel has not. Whether it’s the memories captured, relationships strengthened or smiles made, the summer of 2020 proved that the happiness travel can bring is not simply measured in kilometres and that there are plenty of adventures to be explored and comfort to be found right next door. With our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we offer the widest choice, great value and the easiest experience so travelers can get out and enjoy all kinds of travel experiences, whenever it’s safe to do so and whether that’s near or far.”

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