Comment: Pata research finds increased demand for Pacific Asia

The association’s UK & Ireland chairman Chris Crampton reveals that 80% of its agent network is receiving regular enquiries for the region

Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) UK & Ireland is pleased to share results of its latest ‘Pata Polls’ – a series of short surveys which asks its travel agent network to provide expert knowledge and valuable insight into a variety of topics and issues throughout the year.

The Pata Polls, conducted this month (August 2022), focus on the reopening of the Pacific Asia region post-Covid-19 and the future booking outlook.

As an organisation it’s invaluable to have access to this independent data, to help us better understand what’s happening in the market. It also helps us in shaping our trade engagement strategy, ensuring it meets the trade’s needs and delivers worthwhile events and training.

Research from the travel agents polled (43 respondents in total) revealed an impressive 80% of Pata’s agent network is receiving regular enquiries for the region which is a great sign that tourism is making a strong return.

Further results show Pacific Asia is amongst the top five most requested destinations in terms of overall booking enquiries. Within the Pacific Asia region Australia is receiving the most enquiries, cited by 19.95% of agents closely followed by Maldives (19.62%) and Cambodia (17.64%). European countries are the most enquired about overall (21.63%), while other popular long-haul regions included the Caribbean (19.42%), USA (19%) and Indian Ocean (17.31%).

Of the 20% of agents who are yet to see enquiries return for the region they stated clients have either ‘already booked a holiday elsewhere’ (27%) or are ‘taking a staycation’ (3%). 15% of clients still have concerns over Covid-19.

When asking what time of year clients are travelling to Pacific Asia a fifth (20.51%) are heading off immediately this summer whilst, unsurprisingly, half of bookings are being made for winter 2022/2023 (51%). Almost a third (28.21%) are booking ahead for Summer 2023.

Interestingly, the survey also highlighted that, despite the current UK cost of living crisis, almost half of agents’ customers are happy to spend more and upgrade their trip (42%). 57% are still seeking value and only 9% of customers can’t afford a holiday at the moment.

Parts of the region, such as Asia, offer a great long haul holiday option whether travellers are seeking relaxing beach breaks or adventurous multicentre itineraries. For the budget conscious there are some great value flight options with a raft of new low-cost carriers opening up the region even further.

Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary Scoot (launched December 2021) from Singapore via Bangkok to London Gatwick, Air Aisa X (due to launch end of 2022) from Malaysia to London and Bamboo Airways is a new weekly service from Hanoi, Vietnam to London Gatwick from October 2022.

We’re so pleased that business is picking up again for the region as well as our agents. The results from this Pata poll is very encouraging and a much needed moral boost.

Pata hosts some 30 training events for travel agents annually throughout the UK and Ireland, kicking off with Taste of Pata London on 15th September 2022.

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