The Way Solo Travel Differs Between Asians and Westerners

Insights into the different ways those from the East and those from the West travel.
Saturday 6 October 2018
Millennials make up the bulk of solo travellers in the Asian cohort. Photo: iStock

Solo travel is usually seen as an adventure for the individual, and there’s no doubt that it is. But when viewed communally, the findings were pretty interesting, to say the least.

A recent global survey revealed a big age gap when it came to solo Asian and Western travellers. According to the results of the ‘Solo Travel Trends 2018’ survey conducted by YouGov for online booking site Agoda, solo travellers from Asia are likely to be younger than their counterparts from the West.

The findings are based on the results of a global survey that polled more than 10,784 respondents around the world between January 2018 and September 2018. Overall, 41 percent of solo Asian travellers fell into the Millennial group (26-38) while 38 percent were Gen Zers (18-25).

Most popular with solo travellers who were Westerners: London. Photo: iStock

Those numbers are in stark contrast to the West, where solo travel was most prevalent among Baby Boomers (39 percent) and Generation Xers (24 percent). Along with being older, solo travellers in the West tend to take longer vacations, likely because they’ve racked up more disposable income than their younger cohorts.

While the most common trip length is four to seven nights for Western solo travellers, that’s down to one to three nights for solo travellers from Asia. Looking at the list below, it’s likely that it may have something to do with the fact that the most popular destinations for solo travellers from Asia were within Asia itself, negating the need for extra leave days to account for travel time.

It’s interesting to note that the destinations may also be a reflection of the difference in spending power of different currencies. The most popular destinations for solo travel for Asians were within Asia – the closer the destination, the less expensive it is.

Most popular with solo travellers who are Asian: Bangkok. Photo: iStock

Travellers from Western countries are also twice as likely than Asian travellers to embark on trips that last 14 nights or more. Is there a cultural factor to this? For example, it’s common among young secondary school graduates in the West to embark on ‘gap year’ trips – an idea many of their young Asian counterparts would balk at (if not for the disapproval of their possibly conservative parents).

According to Agoda’s internal booking data, the most popular destination for solo travellers among Asians is Bangkok, Thailand, while London tops the list for solo Western travel.

For the purposes of the report, Asia is defined as China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The West is defined as the UK, US and Australia.

Here are the top destinations for solo travellers from Asia:

1. Bangkok, Thailand
2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Tokyo, Japan
4. Singapore
5. Hong Kong
6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
7. Manila, Philippines
8. Bali, Indonesia
9. Jakarta, Indonesia
10. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Top destinations for solo Western travellers:

1. London, UK
2. Tokyo, Japan
3. Sydney, Australia
4. Melbourne, Australia
5. New York, USA
6. Bangkok, Thailand
7. Los Angeles, USA
8. Las Vegas, USA
9. Singapore
10. Paris, France

Source: AFPRelaxnews

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