The Gen XY Lifestyle

Southeast Asians Ready for Domestic Travel, Prioritising Safety and Budget-Friendly Destinations

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As June and July approaches, Southeast Asia is gearing up for a surge in domestic travel.

A recent survey by Milieu Insight reveals that 55 percent of Southeast Asians are ready to explore their own countries, with safety and cost being their top considerations.

The Rise of Domestic Travel Amid Inflation

With inflation driving prices high and international travel becoming costly, domestic leisure travel is expected to remain strong this year.

The survey, which polled 1,966 individuals from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, found that over 6 in 10 respondents prioritise safety and cost when choosing domestic travel destinations.

domestic travel

Our report highlights the summer travel plans of many Southeast Asians. As people seek to explore their own countries, affordability and safety are key factors driving their choice. At the same time, many travellers in Asia are increasingly budget-driven, and they are embracing family-oriented experiences, by finding value in land transportation and road trips.

Gerald Ang, Founder and CEO of Milieu Insight
domestic travel

Safety First, But Budget Matters

While cost remains a top consideration for 62 percent of travellers in Southeast Asia, safety takes precedence, with 63 percent prioritising secure destinations and scenic spots. This trend highlights the importance for brands to promote local destinations known for their safety.

Embracing the Open Road

Land transport emerges as the preferred choice for domestic vacations, with a significant 74 percent of travellers opting for this mode of transportation. In particular, 88 percent of Thai and 76 percent of Indonesian travellers prefer travelling by land when exploring domestic destinations.

Family-Focused Travel Experiences

The survey also found that 79 percent of travellers in Southeast Asia are planning to embark on their adventures with their families in tow. Families are prioritising quality time together, seeking to create cherished memories while exploring local hidden gems.

domestic travel

Another compelling aspect of travel emerges for families: culinary exploration and immersive touring experiences. More than half of those surveyed are keen on making their domestic travels about food and immersive touring experiences where they get the opportunity to taste local flavours and visit landmarks.

Hotels Still Preferred, But Alternatives Gain Traction

Hotels remain the preferred choice, capturing 78 percent of preferences across all surveyed countries. However, unique alternatives are gaining momentum. In Malaysia, 44 percent of travellers opt for personalised experiences offered by Airbnb, while in Thailand, 47 percent are drawn to the luxury and exclusivity of pool villas.

domestic travel

As Southeast Asia gears up for a season of travel, there is an increased willingness for most travellers to escape to domestic destinations due to proximity and costs. This shift underscores a pragmatic mindset amidst evolving global circumstances like flight prices and inflation, with safety and cost considerations taking precedence in travel planning.

The study offers a comprehensive understanding of Southeast Asian summer travel plans, highlighting key insights and travel trends. The fieldwork was carried out from 7th to 31st March 2024, and the results are representative of the online adult population aged 16 and above.

Chart visuals provided by Milieu Insight.

Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans and by Nita Anggraeni Goenawan on Unsplash