All praises be to Allah s.w.t, the Lord of the Universe. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad s.a.w. His last messenger.

I love travelling.. I believe most of you guys love it too didn’t you.. Do you know what I love the most about travelling? Getting away for the routine.. That’s what I love the most. The idea of travelling always excite me. Be it travelling with family, friends or just me and my dearest partner Mr SOSAB. And the excitement begins way earlier before the travel itself happened.

Last month I attended the launching Hotels.com latest campaign “Half the Fun of Travel” which were also attended by Elfira Loy who has been kind enough to share with us her travel ideas etc. During the event, a survey result conducted by Hotels.com in conjunction with their latest campaign was also revealed. Understanding the challenges and stress faced by Malaysia’s Millennials while planning their travel, a survey was conducted by Hotels.com aiming to facilitate Malaysians to fully embrace the fun of travel planning through a diverse collection of personal stories by Southeast’s Asia celebrities and influencers who are avid travellers. 

Malaysians enjoy travel planning process, 
but they get stressed out over finding the best value deal

Key survey findings 
  • Malaysians prioritize affordability, new experience and picture-worthiness over other travel considerations 
  • Malaysians trust online reviews – 82 percent Malaysians are influenced by online reviews to a certain extent when making travel decisions 
  • 65 percent of millennial travelers spend more than two hours on looking for accommodation options – 11 percent spend more than 10 hours
    · Familiar taste abroad – 98 percent of travelers spend time looking for Asian restaurants 
  • Halal travel – 97 percent of Muslim travelers spend time looking for halal dining options prior to their trip

Top three causes of stress for Malaysia’s millennials during travel planning:

  1. Not sure if I’m getting the best price (55%) 
  2. Need to coordinate with different people’s preferences (54%) 
  3. Too much information, don’t know what’s best (48%) 

“Malaysians are value-conscious travellers. Through our strong global network and Rewards programme, we are able to offer great hotels that fit different budget preferences and provide the best value for their money through our website and mobile app”, said Jessica Chuang, Regional Marketing Director for Greater China, Southeast Asia & India for Hotels.com Brand. 
Group travels are very popular among the 1,000 Malaysia’s millennials (born 1982 and after) surveyed, with 91 percent of the respondents travelling with their friends or family most of the time. Only eight percent travelled solo most of the time. They are also early planners, 66% of respondents reported planning months before traveling, 29% reported planning weeks ahead, and a mere 5% of respondents plan their holidays only days in advance. 
This means that the joy of holidays begins well before we ever set foot in our destination or even booking flights. The excitement builds from the point we begin visualising our holiday; searching for places to stay, sights to see, activities to do and of course, delicious cuisines to enjoy. It is no wonder that despite the challenges, 94 percent of respondents said that they enjoy the travel planning process.
Top three enjoyment benefits of travel planning are:

  1. Discovering new experiences (23%) 
  2. Discovering new destination (21%) 
  3. The experience of planning a trip together with family and friends (19%) 

How do Malaysian travelers choose their next destination? 
For a destination to be popular amongst Malaysians, affordability is definitely key, with 86% of the respondents treating this factor as one of their major considerations. 45% of the respondents prefer going to a destination that is picture-worthy, or in another word, Instagrammable. 
Malaysians are the most active Instagram users in Asia Pacific (Kantar TNS, 2016), and they love sharing their travel pictures with their friends and family via social media platform. What are the better ways to do this than to go to a picturesque destination where they can snap and upload a perfectly Instagrammable picture, even without any filter! 
Top three considerations when choosing the next destination: 

  1. Destination’s affordability (86%) 
  2. Trying out new experiences (63%) 
  3. Picture-worthiness (45%) 

Malaysians are incredibly social travelers – from planning to travelling 
A great part about Malaysia’s millennials’ travel planning is that the fun is shared with others. The study showed that travel planning is a social activity with 74 percent of the respondents stating that they plan their vacations with family and friends. 
Malaysia’s millennials also depend on friends and family to provide the best information about their destinations, 50 percent listed word-of-mouth as favorite way to acquire such information. This social aspect is expanded further to online reviews by other travelers, with 82 percent of millennials surveyed reporting that they are influenced by online reviews to a certain extent when travel planning. 
Jessica added, “We understand the power of reviews in influencing travel decisions nowadays, and Hotels.com is happy to empower Malaysian travelers with over 25 million verified and genuine guest reviews on our site.” 
Accommodation is the first thing they plan for and majority spend hours on it 
86% of millennials will start planning for accommodation after setting their destination, compared to 80% for transportation (flights, buses, trains, etc.) and 50% for travel schedule. And among those who do so, majority spend hours searching for the best stay – 54% spend between two to 10 hours, 35% spend up to an hour and 11% spend more than 10 hours. 
Malaysian travellers seek familiar taste abroad – 98% spend some time to look for Asian restaurants, with 48% of them spending more than an hour on this. Everyone needs to satisfy their cravings for noodles, nasi lemak and chicken rice abroad. 
Halal vacations are also popular among Malaysians, with 97% of the Malay travellers surveyed spending some time to research about halal dining options prior to making their travel decisions. 51% percent spend more than an hour on this. 
“At Hotels.com, we believe that half the fun of the travel is in the planning – and Malaysia’s millennials seem to agree with us. We understand that a lot of them use travel planning as an opportunity to bond with their family and friends and a lot of that time is spent on searching for the best stay. Our latest campaign ‘Half the Fun of Travel’ aims to empower consumers with the best travel planning and Hotels.com booking know-how, so that the process is a seamless and fun one”, Jessica said. 
Anchored by a travel blog (www.blogshotels.com/ms)), ‘Half the Fun of Travel’ offers personal stories, tips and tricks on how to leverage the useful suite of Hotels.com offerings by Southeast Asia’s influencers and avid travellers like actress Elfira Loy, lifestyle and mummy blogger Fourfeetnine, travel writer Pojiegraphy and more. 
To celebrate the launch of ‘Half the Fun of Travel’, Hotels.com is offering 8% off bookings till 15 September 2017, for travel dates 15 August 2017 – 31 March 2018, with promo code 8OFFHTFOTMY.

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