Travellers' top destination: Japan

Japan was a top destination in the past two years, according to a new Visa travel report. — AFP pic
Japan was a top destination in the past two years, according to a new Visa travel report. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Feb 9 — A new report from Visa shows that globetrotters are taking shorter but more frequent holidays, favoring destinations like Japan, the US and Australia, and spending an average of US$1,793 (RM7,093) per trip. 

Those are some of the conclusions from Visa’s Global Intentions Study, which teased out trends from a survey of 15,500 interviews conducted across 27 markets, to make travel forecasts for 2018. 

According to the data, trips are getting shorter: In 2013, the average vacation lasted 10 nights. The global average is now down to eight nights. 

While trips are getting shorter, globally, people are also taking a greater number of vacations a year, from an average of 2.5 trips in the last two years to 2.7 years over the next two years. 

Leading the pack are US travellers, who in 2017 took an average of 3.2 trips. 

According to the results of the Visa study, in the last two years, Japan bumped the US to become the world’s most popular destination for global travellers, particularly among those who live in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The Visa data differs from a similar Mastercard report released last fall, which named Bangkok the most visited city in the world for international travel, with an estimated 20.19 million visitors in 2017. 

However, the Mastercard index also named Osaka the world’s fastest growing destination over the last seven years. 

Biggest spenders

In the Visa study, Americans expressed a preference for Mexico, Canada and Japan. 

When it comes to the world’s biggest high rollers, Saudi Arabians emerged the top spenders, followed by Chinese, Australians, Americans and Kuwaitis.  

After flights, hotels, and expenditures at their destination, travellers from oil-rich Saudi Arabia said they expect to spend US$4,800 on their next trip. 

That’s down from an average of US$5,333 spent on international travel on their last trip. 

The report also revealed spending and purchasing trends for international travel. Though travellers cited loss of cash or theft as their top money concern, most (77 per cent) still prefer to use cash when making a purchase. 

That figure coincides with the 72 per cent of people who said they prepared their foreign currency prior to leaving for their trip. 

The result? The majority of travellers (87 per cent) said they end up with leftover cash — a median of US$123. Only 29 per cent said they end up converting the money back to currency they can use at home. — AFP-Relaxnews

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