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Travel trends shift to digital


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27 December, KUALA LUMPUR – Customised travel has become easier and emerged as a trend especially among the young generation as gathering travel tips online for flight and hotel reservations is now at your fingertips, thanks to the digital boom.

The avenues available online not only assist individual customisation but also help in making savings, especially for younger solo travellers.

An avid traveller, Muhammad Haikal Idham, 28, who works as a film scout, said he prefers to make his own itinerary, be it for work or his own travel.

There are many places that cannot be reached if one chooses to use a travel agency. But with a bit of adventure and the help of the global positioning system (GPS) that everyone has on their phone, travelling has become much easier, he told Bernama.

However, he said the elder generation still prefers to use travel agencies.

This provides them with the comfort they need. Even when we go for family vacations, I will book with an agency to ensure everything is fine, he said.

Based on a study conducted by Zion Market Research titled Online Travel Booking Market by Service Type, the global online travel booking market was valued at approximately US$765 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate US$1,955 billion by 2026.

The travel industry and online hotel booking sector are experiencing a major transformation, mostly due to technological improvements and digital trends.

Rapid technological advancements, such as handheld mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, are constantly upgraded with new features, it said in the study.

The trend is witnessed not only in Malaysia but also worldwide as the younger generation prefers not to be tied down to a specific itinerary.

Online travel sites such as Traveloka, Klook and KKday allow users to pick and choose what they want to do during their holiday, while sites like Agoda and Skyscanner allow users to book hotels and flight tickets at a lower rate.

According to Agoda’s ‘Solo Travel Trends 2018’ survey, Asian solo travellers are the most digitally connected and are more than two times as likely to spend four or more hours a day in front of their screens than their Western peers (31 per cent versus 12 per cent).

The study also found that Malaysia is the second most popular destination among Asian solo travellers behind Bangkok followed by Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong.

These cities have a lot of attractions to keep any solo traveller busy, from shopping and nightlife to culture and dining, it said.


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