On 18 June 2015, Expedia in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and other organisations, released the results of a comprehensive study that analyses a rich set of global air travel data spotlighting air travel trends.

The report, Travel Check-Up: Air Travel Trends 2015 represents original analysis of a variety of travel data observed in the North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions during the first half of 2015. Some of this data pertained to travel that has been booked and executed already; whilst the remaining data related to trips booked in June, July and August .

Specifically, the report analyses:

 Average ticket price fluctuations on key routes globally

 Travel demand and package growth savings opportunities globally

 The impact of foreign exchange on air travel and how long travellers are staying on vacation

 

Average ticket price fluctuations on key routes globally

In December 2014, Expedia and ARC analysed likely 2015 average ticket prices (ATPs) to many top travel destinations originating from North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. On the whole, our predictions were spot-on. With prices adjusted for exchange rates, air ticket prices declined approximately 2 percent on average across North America and Europe, while prices decreased 7 percent for travellers originating in Asia-Pacific.

Regardless of where travelers may want to go, bundling a flight, car, or hotel together and booking them at the same time as a package is a great way for travelers to get major savings in our industry. Why do packages offer such terrific deals? By bundling, travel suppliers have more flexibility on the rate offered, so they are willing to provide travelers great deals.

“An analysis of air industry data suggests that, with smart planning, the second half of this year will be an optimal time to explore the world,” said Greg Schulze, senior vice president Expedia Global Tour & Transport. “We work tirelessly to take data and put it at the fingertips of travelers in the form of actionable information that makes them confident to click, book, and go. Our ultimate goal is to help travelers feel informed and empowered to get past travel decisionmaking and move into travel moment-making.”

 

Travel demand and package growth savings opportunities globally

After running data on package deals booked for travel between June and September 2015 that include air and hotel, we determined travellers can save up to MYR2,433 across all destinations.

Based on our observation, 48% of Malaysian travellers place their most emphasis on airfare prices when making travel decisions and tend to opt for package deal consists of flights and hotel stay in a bundle to enjoy greater discounts, with location being the utmost priority. It has always been the number one factor for travellers, especially the middle class ones or for those who constantly travel with family, as they would opt for package deal consists of flights and hotel stay (bundle package) to enjoy greater discounts. In Malaysia, travellers can save extra up to 31%, if they opt to purchase a package deal of flights and hotel stay (free and easy package).

 

The impact of foreign exchange on air travel and how long travellers are staying on vacation

One of the key metrics travel industry insiders typically use to evaluate traveller behavior is Length of Stay (LOS). This measurement shows how long travellers stay in one particular place, and used in reference to hotels. But since this report is all about air travel data, ARC evaluated its global numbers for June, July, and August 2012-2015 to see what insights it could glean from the duration of air trips over those time periods.

Expedia and ARC’s mid-year analysis also indicates that trips with the longest LOS change from month to month. In June and July, the longest trips originate in North America and head to Asia-Pacific; in August, the trips with the longest lengths of stay start in Asia-Pacific and head to Europe. These trends remained relatively consistent from 2012-2015 for travellers originating in Asia-Pacific and heading to Europe, though the August numbers for 2015 suggest a destination shift to North America.

As the report looks at LOS for Malaysian travellers, it sees an overall LOS increase by 6% across these categories – Couple (- 1%), Family (-28%), Family/Group (5%) and Frequent Independent Traveler (FIT) (11%), based on Year-over-Year (Y-o-Y) comparison. Amongst the five regions studied in this report – North America, Europe, Latin-America, Asia-Pacific and Domestic – Latin-America (LATAM) travellers as a couple lead to an increase by 110% Y-o-Y comparison, with average LOS from 7 to 15 days. While the acquired statistics are open to broad interpretation, the report observes that there is a switch of FIT travelling pattern with an increase of 11% Y-o-Y comparison, in overall LOS and seems to be driving the trend pertaining to vacation length, seeing an increase of 30% Y-o-Y comparison, with average LOS from 11 to 14 days to Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA). It is also worth noting for outbound flights to America (AMER), increased by 29% Y-o-Y comparison, with average LOS from 8 to 10 days from Family or Group (more than 2 adult counts and without children).

Domestic travel is a huge market in Malaysia, with an average consumer spending on travel booking is approximately MYR500 and average LOS for domestic travel is 3 nights. In addition, data shows a tremendous growth of domestic travel with accounted 36% of travel booking in Expedia.com.my. Travellers as a couple have increased 2% Y-o-Y comparison, with the average LOS of 3 nights. However, we also see a growing trend of International travel LOS around APAC destinations such as Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and Melbourne, up to 6 nights and up to 13 nights across AMER, EMEA and LATAM region.

Given the recent implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) and the weakening of Malaysian Ringgit, Malaysian travellers may be taking shorter trips within their home market more often than before and choosing to spend longer portions of their precious vacation time farther away from home in North America and Europe this year. Moving forward, the report expects the frequency of package purchases to increase. Despite the high cost of living and weak economic environment, consumers are not stopping themselves from taking leisure trips. Taking a vacation is seemingly as important as ever to the travellers; however they are looking for ways to stretch their money and save where they can.

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