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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Milieu Insight study reveals domestic travel plans for summer across SEA in view of easing COVID-19 restrictions

Markets:  Philippines (PH), Indonesia (ID), Vietnam (VN), Malaysia (MY), Thailand (TH)

Key Highlights:

  • Highest willingness for domestic travel in the PH and ID
  • ID (89%), VN (83%) and TH (79%) least concerned when it comes to domestic travel
  • Travellers from PH (76%) are most concerned about safety of travel and destination
  • Majority of travellers (81%) are looking to bring their family together on their next vacation.
  • Land transport is the preferred mode of transport (76%) when travelling domestically
  • Hotels remain top choice for accommodation across all five countries (76%), with half of travellers in VN also showing preference for Resorts, and more than half from TH also preferring Pool Villas (54%).
  • Most travellers are likely to use travel agency services for domestic travel and vacation plans across all 5 countries. With PH (82%), ID (85%), VN (83%) with the highest likelihood to do so.

Milieu Insight, a Southeast Asian consumer research and analytics firm, today announced findings of domestic travel plans for summer vacation across Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Respondents from the Philippines and Indonesia have shown highest willingness for domestic travel. With much of the movement restrictions across Asia being lifted, the travel industry is finally opening up. Over 80% of domestic travellers in Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam have indicated a likelihood to engage with travel agency services for their domestic travel and vacation plans.

Travellers from the Philippines remain most concerned with the pandemic

Travellers from Indonesia (89%), Vietnam (83%) and Thailand (79%) have expressed the least concern for themselves when it comes to domestic travel. This willingness to travel is also reflected in the domestic travel policies of these countries as there are minimum restrictions involved in their inter-state/inter-provincial travels. In February 2022, Vietnam saw a total of 9.6 million domestic travellers.

One reason domestic travel has shown to be widely accepted by travellers is due to the fear of a pandemic resurgence. Travellers do not wish to be unwittingly stranded from home and work.

On the other hand, we see that 40% of respondents from the Philippines remain highly concerned for their safety even towards domestic travel. Domestic travel within the Philippines is still only limited to select destinations and with restrictions (as of 11 May 2022).

Travel habits and preferences of domestic travellers in SEA

When planning for their upcoming summer vacation, most travellers across all five countries are looking to unwind and reconnect with their family after two years of pandemic isolation (Philippines 83%, Indonesia 82%, Vietnam 78%, Malaysia 81%, Thailand 79%). Just recently in April 2022, Indonesia saw mudik mass migration for Idul Fitri (end of Ramadan), where 31% of the population was estimated by the Indonesian Transport Ministry to travel back to their hometowns and spend time with their extended family.

Hotels remain the top choice for accommodation across all five countries, with half of travellers in Vietnam also showing preference for Resorts, and more than half from Thailand also preferring Pool Villas (54%).

Family friendly destinations should look to see high popularities this summer, especially places that are inclusive towards multigenerational groups.  This could be activities like a road trip to a national park or other tourist spots in a neighbouring state, or visiting a beach resort that provides entertainment for all ages, or even taking time off to unwind from the big city hustle and bustle in a tranquil village.

Travel agencies sought after even for domestic travels

Despite only travelling within their home countries most Southeast Asian travellers will still engage with a travel agency to plan for their domestic travel and vacation plans. Especially those from Indonesia (85%), the Philippines (82%), and Vietnam (83%). Engaging with a travel agent may ensure a less stressful trip, creating more time and leisure for travellers to enjoy their first post-pandemic vacation with their loved ones.


Based on Milieu Insight surveys with N=1000 respondents each from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, conducted in April 2022.

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