The research, conducted earlier this month, surveyed the travel plans of around 400 respondents across Asia Pacific, including Hong Kong. The response from Hong Kong travellers provides interesting insights into how the current economic uncertainty could impact the travel industry.

78% of Hong Kong respondents said the economy is having an impact on their travel plans. The survey did however indicate that this does not necessarily mean less travel, but rather a change in travel patterns. For example, the survey showed that:

- 48% will be more flexible about travel dates;
- 40% will consider taking shorter trips;
- 35% will opt for less expensive modes of transport; and
- 60% are late bookers.

The survey also shows a 6% drop in the number of Hong Kong people who will travel by air to their destinations this holiday season. Of those not travelling by plane, 67% say they are too busy to travel and 33% cited the cost of air travel as a deterrent, implying that short trips and nearby destinations will be more popular this year.

The survey of Hong Kong travellers reveals that the outlook for the travel industry in early 2009 is still optimistic. 78% claim that they still plan to travel early next year, although 91% of this group have not booked yet.

Based on current ZUJI booking data, the top-ten most popular destinations for travel in December 2008 are:

1. Bangkok
2. London
3. Singapore
4. Sydney
5. Taipei
6. Manila
7. Los Angeles
8. Brisbane
9. Tokyo
10. San Francisco