Lunar New Year Travel Trends

How APAC Travel Marketers Can Target Lunar New Year Travelers - By Catlyn Origitano

Chinese lanterns
How APAC Travel Marketers Can Target Lunar New Year Travelers

Sojern

The year of the Rooster is upon us! In order to celebrate, many in Asia-Pacific take to the skies to ring in the Lunar New Year abroad. With only a few short weeks until the celebrations begin on January 28, we at Sojern dove into travel intent for China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Get the insights and marketing takeaways to capitalize  on the end of the year of the Monkey.   

Travelers Looking to Stay Local 

Overall, the top destinations from January 21-28, 2017 searched by countries observing the Lunar New Year are within the region. London is the only exception:

1. Tokyo
2. Osaka
3. Bangkok
4. Singapore
5. Seoul
6. Taipei
7. Hong Kong
8. London
9. Kuala Lumpur
10. Sapporo

Travel marketers take note: 

Short-haul trips are preferred, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lure Lunar New Year travelers to long-haul destinations. Hotels, car rentals, and other travel services in London should look to target ads to these travelers as they’re looking to visit. 

Those within the region should certainly look to capitalize on the desire to stay local and focus ad spend on regional travelers during this time of the year.

A Peek at Peak Departure Dates 

With Lunar New Year falling on a Saturday, the the most popular departure day by far is the preceding Friday. Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam all see the largest peak of departures on January 27. Only China stands out from the crowd with their peak occurring a day earlier on Thursday, January 26. 

On the other end of the holiday, February 1 sees the largest peak of departures for all countries celebrating, with the exception being Singapore. February 2 dominates for Singaporean departures. 

Travel marketers take note: 

Knowing top departure dates can help you plan the timing of your ads, as well as strategize about upselling campaigns. For example, if you’re a rental car company and you know when people are looking to arrive and depart, you can plan your ad campaigns to target these most popular dates. 

Hotels can also use insights like these to plan campaigns. Want to get people to stay a little longer? The first step is to know when people are looking to check in or out and adding in an extra night stay, for example. 

Also, our insights here show the importance of not treating all markets the same.China and Singapore, for example, both have unique search patterns. Serving the same ads, with the same peak dates for all Lunar New Year travelers just isn’t the strongest or most timely strategy.

Changing Travel in 2017

In order to understand any changes or shifts in travel planning this year, we compared 2016 intent to 2017. The following shifts stand out:

  • This year we see more families (3+ travelers) than last year—a 14% increase.
  • Solo travelers are on the decline, with 3% less this year than last. 
  • In terms of trip duration, the biggest changes are an increase in both trips for 12+ days and 0-1 days.
  • Trips of 6-7 days, however, are on the decline.

Travel marketers take note: 

Seeing that family travel, for instance, is on the rise means you might need to rethink your ad copy and campaigns. Create packages that appeal to family travel and get your ads up farther out as families tend to require longer for travel planning.

Also, capitalize on the idea that long travel (12+ days) is on the rise—create packages that line up with this length (e.g., stay 10 nights, get the 11th free).
As we look to welcome the year of the hardworking, resourceful Rooster, travel marketers can use these insights to create stronger, more strategic campaigns. Looking for more insights and travel marketing help? Contact us today!

About Catlyn

Catlyn is Sojern's Senior Content Marketing Manager. She loves playing video games and hiking with her dog, Dottie. Her favorite part of travel is the food, preferring street food to fine dining. She holds a PhD in Philosophy.



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