Survey respondents across six of APAC’s leading tourism markets express strong intention to travel with family members and a preference for family-friendly activities, dining options and room arrangements.

As pent-up travel demand continues to be unleashed across the region, a recent study by Hilton (NYSE: HLT) reveals that Asia Pacific consumers are quickly embracing travel once more with renewed motivations: to rebuild family bonds, and to revive the body and soul.

Following the release of Hilton’s 2022 Global Trends Report, new data from a survey conducted with nearly 6,000 respondents across Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India show that after two years of closed borders, mandated restrictions, and streamlined social circles – families cannot wait to travel together.

“Travel has been surging across many parts of Asia Pacific,” said Ben George, senior vice president and Commercial director, Hilton, Asia Pacific. “Our findings clearly show pent-up desires to reconnect with family as travel takes on a deeper meaning to strengthen these bonds by creating shared moments and memories together. In this new reinvigorated age of travel, when you want to ensure your loved ones have the best travel experience, it matters where you stay. Exceptional hospitality and innovative guest experiences that anticipate evolving needs go a long way in giving families the peace of mind knowing that they will be taken care of on every level – from confirming connecting rooms at the time of booking to customizing preferences with a convenient touch of an app.”

Periods of social distancing, isolation, and quarantine restrictions over the last two years have kept loved ones from gathering. Or in other cases, families have been longing to catch up on celebrations with extended family and missed summer vacations. This year, travel is the way to make up for lost time among family members as they reunite and rejuvenate the senses through new experiences.

Whether it’s the immediate family that’s stayed together for the past few years through multiple lockdowns, or the long-distance family that longs to see loved ones again – travelers from Asia Pacific are prioritizing trips with their nearest and dearest, choosing spouses and significant others as their top travel companion (43%), followed by their children of all ages (38%), parents (25%) and extended family members (23%).

While health, safety and cleanliness remain a top priority, family travelers across all six markets are ever more motivated to be together. Besides traveling as a group, family travelers are also looking for ways to spend more time together while on holiday. This new emphasis on togetherness is not only reflected in choosing pastimes, but also in preferred room arrangements — highlighting the importance for travelers to consider where they stay.

● Singaporeans (60%), Malaysians (57%) and Australians (51%) now place a lot more thought in planning family-friendly activities during trips, as respondents from these markets list finding activities that everyone in the family will enjoy among their top travel concerns.

● When it comes to deciding which hotel or resort to book, family-friendly facilities and activity offerings within the property are also a top priority, especially for family travelers from Indonesia (60%) and Malaysia (59%), followed by Singapore (49%), India (47%) Thailand (45%) and Australia (40%).

● For markets such as Singapore (66%), Australia (61%) and India (57%), confirmed room upgrades before departure are an important hotel and resort offering, minimizing any uncertainty and giving families greater peace of mind.

● Travelers from Singapore (30%), India (27%) and Indonesia (25%) prefer connecting rooms3 for easier access to family bonding activities and to make up for lost time.

While the pent-up travel demand is real, additional market insights by Hilton4 show that the increasing price of travel is also a growing concern and potential barrier in this recovery climate, further putting a spotlight on where customers choose to stay.

● Cost of travel was ranked as the top travel obstacle for travelers from Malaysia (57%), Indonesia (49%) and Australia (41%), which ranks higher than their concern over health risks (Malaysia 51%, Indonesia 40%, Australia 34%).

● Travelers from Thailand, Singapore and India reported that concern over travel costs (44%, 43%, 40%) are at similar levels as health risks (47%, 44%, 41%), respectively.

Compounded stress during the pandemic has taken a toll on couples as they turn to travel to reignite the romance. This puts increasing importance for travelers to consider where they stay to create the most meaningful connections while on vacation. Having a romantic meal with their spouse or significant other consistently ranks high (#2) among other preferred activities when they have alone time while traveling with family.

Survey findings also show that family travelers are looking forward to sitting down together with good food that everyone will enjoy, reflecting how the simple act of sharing a family meal together after years of restrictions carries deeper significance.

• Across all six markets, having a variety of food and beverage offerings on-property is a top- of-mind consideration (#1) when booking hotels and resorts.7 This translates to an array of  selections to satisfy everyone – from mom with the strongest palate for flavours, to the pickiest eater who refuses to eat vegetables.

View Hilton’s Global Trends Report 2022 here.