Executive summary: How inflation is affecting APAC travel

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As inflation strains the global economy, learn how this affects travel and accommodations in the APAC region. As consumers adjust spending habits in response to unpredictable markets, businesses must understand how their current and prospective customers feel and how they can help.

Using a human insight platform like UserTesting enables researchers, designers, marketers, and digital product teams to get a holistic view of their customers. 

Travel and accommodation plans according to APAC residents

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While quantitative data can show you what's happening, qualitative data will add color to black-and-white metrics. While we can assume inflation will affect travel plans for APAC residents, it's important to validate it and try to understand it. 

Using the Human Insight Platform, we conducted qualitative interviews with APAC residents to learn more about how travel plans are evolving in response to inflation and why. Here are their responses. 


According to respondents, inflation is having a massive impact on the travel plans of Indians due to price hikes. About 60% said they’re forced to reduce their travel budget significantly due to rising flight and train costs. 20% report that accommodation costs have had the sharpest hike affecting travel. They further mentioned that to keep up with the rising costs, they are cutting down the frequency of their vacations. 

Prioritizing domestic travel over international

However, the good news for local businesses is that 80% of Indians prefer to travel in India to stay within budget. Here, the most popular money-saving tactics include choosing cheaper destinations and accommodations (40%), participating in less expensive activities (30%), and taking fewer trips (20%).

Beaches are the most demanded destination

After a two-year-long halt in travel plans, people worldwide are striding back to the pre-pandemic normal. Indians also confidently plan vacations to their dream destinations this holiday season. According to the survey, 50% of Indians prefer beaches over mountains (40%), while only 10% wish to visit the countryside.

Another interesting finding revealed that 80% of Indians would take their next vacation with friends instead of their family (20%).

One of the most powerful impacts of COVID-19 was a change in consumer lifestyle and priorities. Related to this change, Indians are now giving prime importance to savings. Interestingly, the survey found that over 80% of respondents are cost-cutting by traveling in buses and trains instead of taking expensive flights on their next vacation. 
When asked about the type of trips they plan, 20% of Indians indicated taking simple low-key vacations to visit family/friends. On the other hand, 30% are showing keen interest in luxury travel with maximum amenities with minimum inconvenience. 

Interestingly, out of the Indians who are not traveling, 60% prioritize savings, whereas 30% plan to make personal expenses. The remaining 10% intend to make bigger investments such as property, jewelry, and more. 


According to respondents, Australians are rethinking travel due to rising prices. 6 out of 10 Australians planning to travel report that inflation has majorly impacted their plans and spending. Many say they must plan travel well in advance to try and reduce expenses. 

According to the survey, 40% of respondents indicated a maximum uptick in flight and train costs, while 30% reported that accommodation, city travel, and food prices increased the most. To keep up with the rising costs, they’re forced to reduce the number of trips they plan to take. 

Shelving travel plans to prioritise savings

A recent research report by Toluna, a consumer intelligence platform, revealed that close to one in four Australians have canceled or delayed travel plans to curb spending. Interestingly, UserTesting’s survey also revealed that 30% of Australians are not traveling this season, and 50% are minimising holiday season expenses to prioritise savings. 

Australians opt for local travel 

Australians are also showing confidence in planning long vacations this holiday season. When UserTesting inquired about their destination, 70% of Aussies reported traveling within the country for their upcoming holiday. 

One of the most powerful impacts of COVID-19 was a change in consumers’ lifestyles and priorities. Now, Aussies are giving prime importance to travel and leisure, as 2 out of 4 respondents mentioned that foreign travel has become vital. The reason stated was that they want to explore different countries now more than ever, as the pandemic brought the world to a standstill overnight.

When asked about the type of trip they plan, 50% of respondents mentioned taking simple, low-key vacations to nearby destinations or just visiting extended family. On the other hand, 30% are inclined towards luxury travel and want top amenities and minimum inconvenience. 


According to respondents, over 50% of Singaporeans plan to take smaller, simpler trips. As COVID cases have significantly decreased worldwide, the survey revealed that 70% of Singaporeans have a holiday planned this year-end. Interestingly, despite rising costs due to inflation, many Singaporean respondents (90%) are traveling overseas for their next trip, while only 10% are traveling within the country.

However, with increasing prices due to inflation, most Singaporeans are cost-cutting while planning their travels. The survey revealed that 40% of Singaporeans are now taking fewer trips than before, while 40% opt for cheaper accommodations rather than luxurious stays. 

Inflation leads to change in travel plans

Along with the rest of the world, Singapore is bearing the brunt of inflation. With regard to travel during the holiday season, 80% of Singaporeans reported altering their plans and taking an economical route by choosing cheaper destinations to keep their expenses in check. According to 50% of Singaporeans, the highest cost spike is observed in flight tickets, while 30% reported witnessing a sharp uptick in food and city travel prices. 

Of the Singaporeans not traveling anywhere this year, 70% prioritize savings, making minimal expenses during the last leg of 2022. 

Prioritising family trips

Family bonding emerged to be of prime importance for Singaporeans. As per the UserTesting survey, 50% of respondents mentioned that they would be traveling with their families instead of friends this year. Additionally, in terms of travel priorities in the near future, 50% of Singaporeans are more inclined towards simple, short, and lowkey vacations, while some are also visiting their families to spend quality time with loved ones. However, the overall sentiment for the long run is to plan extended international trips instead. 

Meanwhile, 40% of Singaporeans also reported wanting travel to be luxurious and wellness-focused with minimum inconvenience and maximum amenities.

International travel—top choice for Singaporeans

As the looming threat of COVID-19 forced many to be stuck inside their homes for more than two years, Singaporeans are now looking to travel more frequently. As per the survey, 80% of Singaporeans stated their willingness to plan more foreign trips instead of traveling within their country. Most respondents stated the reason as wanting to make up for lost time and moving on to explore newer destinations outside of Singapore.

Additionally, Singaporeans are equally balanced when choosing their dream travel destination, with 20% each for cities, mountains, beaches, countryside, and more.

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