When planning a trip, you are most likely to browse the internet for tips about flights and accommodations, right? Well, all we can say is take their recommendations with a pinch of salt.
The hotel or airline they’re pitching as offering the lowest rates is most likely a client of their affiliate travel agency. Travel search website Trivago, for example, is owned by online travel portal Expedia. Skyscanner is owned by CTrip.com.
That’s not an unusual arrangement in the industry, and it doesn’t mean that they’re not telling the truth.
All we’re saying is do a lot more research, and don’t take everything they say as gospel truth.
But you might want to know about Skyscanner’s latest findings on the travel habits of Hongkongers, which make for an interesting read.
Here’s one: nearly 60 percent of us do our travel research just before going to sleep – usually between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
The bed is where most of us map out our travel plans. Why not? This is a good habit to end the day: letting our minds linger on pleasant thoughts and planting the seeds for good dreams, too.
And since we’re in bed, it’s not surprising that we do our research and bookings via our trusty smartphone. According to Skyscanner, the use of mobile for travel search and bookings has risen 14 percent since last year.
As to who we turn to for travel advice, the survey says celebrities and influencers have a greater impact on our travel decisions (63 percent) than social media (59 percent). Word of mouth from friends, family and colleagues carries less weight (43 percent), the survey finds.
Indeed, soft-selling a destination or a hotel or restaurant on the internet works better – and is a lot cheaper – than a 30-second primetime TV spot.
This is also perhaps the reason why some marketers would tell stories about how a city has become so crowded with tourists: chances are people would be all the more motivated to visit the place.
For Hongkongers, the top three destinations remain unchanged this year: Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. However, according to Skyscanner, Vietnam has become a new favorite, up 37 percent from last year in popularity. Da Nang and Nha Trang, in particular, received the highest levels of interest.
The survey also finds that Hongkongers have developed a love for long-haul destinations. Rome, Moscow, Prague, Casablanca and Kiev have all climbed up the rankings of top emerging destinations for Hong Kong.
Skyscanner believes this may be related to the fact that more airlines are offering direct flights to Europe.
The findings are part of the regional survey it conducted from September to October across eight Asia-Pacific markets, including Hong Kong.
So what are you waiting for? Start dreaming of those distant and exotic places. Give in to your wanderlust.
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