Tourism is back in the game, finally, and Taiwan’s tourism industry is preparing for the next round of hype as COVID-19 comes under control and stimulus vouchers are launched.
Though it is still mandatory to wear masks on public transportation in Taiwan, the country is experiencing an increase in travel intentions and spending. From 1st to 6th July this year, we gathered opinions from respondents aged 18–60 years old on overall travel sentiment and spending plans, as part of our mission to keep everyone in the know so we can all make smarter decisions.
‘Yes’ to domestic travel, but save overseas for next year
Our research shows that, although travel spending in July 2020 was down compared with the same period last year (−5.9%), the decline was much less compared to the drops in March (−28.9%) and May (−25.8%). Those under 29 years old are more optimistic, while 30–39-year-olds are more pessimistic than people aged 50 and over. Perhaps tourism businesses can focus on younger or older groups, who have both the time and the intention to spend on travel. While almost 70% of respondents are reluctant to travel overseas, 75% are willing to spend time travelling domestically.
East coast getaway to escape summer heat
For the next three months, outdoor activities will still be the number one tourist attraction. Moreover, scenic spots and promotions remain the key decision factors. The east coast, around Hualien and Yilan, is still the top destination, and related businesses should start getting creative to cope with this influx of demand. Most people (60%) are more comfortable with driving their own vehicles than taking public transportation, but people’s willingness to take public transportation has improved since May. However, nearly 50% of respondents are still extremely worried about taking airplanes or ships, due to the enclosed nature of these modes of transport.
So when will international travel resume?
Previously it was thought that international travel would resume in February/March 2021. Now, Taiwanese people are delaying their overseas travel plans until April/May 2021. Personal recreation and family trips remain the top reasons for travelling, followed by business, and Japan and South Korea still top the destination charts. The data shows that plans to travel to Japan can serve as an overall international travel indicator, as the results are quite similar. Perhaps tourism-related services can combine the desire to travel to Japan/South Korea with outdoor activities – for example, enjoying the Japanese/South Korean outdoor/beach vibe while travelling in Taiwan, or promoting camping devices and tools.
If not now, then when?
The pandemic can be seen as a touchstone for the tourism business. While we can’t predict the future, we can start acting upon the increasing trend for domestic travel. So let’s get creative! For example, the recent international ‘glamping’ trend is probably an idea the tourism industry can leverage and use to seek cross-industry collaborations.
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Survey Agency: InsightXplorer Ltd.
Date: July 1 to July 6, 2020
Survey Method: Online survey
Respondents: People aged 18-60
Number of samples: 829
Author: Cher Chang