Malaysia

Published: Saturday August 9, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday August 9, 2014 MYT 7:29:28 AM

Craving a beach vacation

Down to the sea: Malaysians love beach vacations so much that they don't mind foregoing a week's pay to earn a holiday by the sea. - S.S. YOGA/The Star

Down to the sea: Malaysians love beach vacations so much that they don't mind foregoing a week's pay to earn a holiday by the sea. - S.S. YOGA/The Star

Malaysians are prepared to give up some things just so they can go on a beach holiday, a survey reveals.

MALAYSIANS would apparently deprive themselves of some things in order to gain a holiday on the beach.

According to Expedia.com’s annual Flip Flop 2014 report, the top three things that Malaysians are willing to forego in order to earn an extra beach vacation this year are: a week’s salary, a month’s expenses on make-up/accessories/toiletries and daily morning coffee/tea for a month.

The top three things that get Malaysians most excited about taking a beach vacation are: spending time with partner or spouse (58%), spending time with children (58%) and sampling local cuisine (47%).

And what would they do at the beach? The top three activities for Malaysians are walking, swimming and people-watching. Of course, Malaysians love to embark on a gastronomical experience, making it their No.1 beach vacation indulgence, with 62% of them eating more food than they normally would.

Malaysians are also not that conservative, with about 85% considering swimwear as acceptable beach attire across all age groups.

Still, while they want to have fun, they also do have some concerns. Theft is the most prevalent concern for Malaysian beachgoers. They are also “very” or “somewhat” anxious about the quality of the hotel (82%), lost property (81%), being stung by a jellyfish or stingray (77%), murky water (74%) and the high cost of food (73%) when considering a beach vacation.

The Flip Flop report is an analysis of the behaviours and preferences of beachgoers around the world. Conducted online from March 11 to April 2, 2014 by Northstar, a global research and consulting firm, the survey dives into the behaviours and attitudes towards beach vacations among 11,165 respondents in 24 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South America.

The beach is the most popular destination for the world’s travellers. More than half (56%) of the study’s respondents took a beach vacation in the past year. Nearly three-quarters (75%) of respondents worldwide indicated that they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to take a beach vacation in the next year. Residents of Thailand (93%) and India (92%) expressed the greatest propensity to hit the sand.

The Flip Flop Report affirms that Asians are the most inclined towards sharing their holiday snaps on social media, which also plays an influential role in helping them decide on their next beach vacation.

“Asian travellers are not just booking their travel on their devices, they are also sharing their travel experiences and researching on mobile more readily than their Western counterparts,” said Vikram Malhi, general manager for Expedia in Asia.

“Mobile is a huge area of investment for Expedia, and the findings reinforce our aim to offer travellers a complete experience, from pre-booking to post-vacation, across devices.”

Respondents from India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia shared that they would upload 29 to 50 photos or videos a week while on vacation – way above the global average of 19 photos or videos.

Worldwide, Indian travellers posted the most pictures per week (50%), followed by Singaporeans (37%), Americans (35%), Hong Kongers (33%), Thais (32%) and Malaysians (29%).

Just why do they post their beach snaps on social media? While the majority of respondents globally said they want to share their unique vacation experience with friends (58%) or inspire them with beautiful images (53%), some also cited “making their friends jealous” (18%) as a reason.

Of these, Asian respondents are more likely to play the jealousy game – with 29% (compared to the global average of 18%) posting pictures to make their friends envious. Hong Kongers came in tops (39%) as most inclined towards making their friends see green, and vacationers from Thailand followed close behind at 36%.

While selfies have become a must for the socially connected, they only came in as the fourth most popular kind of snaps that beach vacationers share.

Globally, 79% of respondents said they would likely post scenery shots, while group or family shots (57%) and couple shots (48%) were also popular. Only 30% said they were likely to post “selfies”.

Asians are certainly more besotted with selfies than their Western counterparts, though; 53% (the highest proportion amongst all countries surveyed) of Thai beachgoers said they would share “selfies”, followed by 40% of respondents from India, 38% of South Koreans, 35% from Singapore and 22% of Malaysians.

Facebook remains the most-used social media platform for beachgoers globally (50%), followed by Instagram (11%) and Twitter (10%). Top Facebook users were from India, with 83% of respondents sharing their photos on Facebook, followed by Thailand (82%), Brazil (79%), Malaysia (75%) and Singapore (62%).

Social media also figures greatly in holiday-planning for Asian vacationers, with 60% of Asian respondents saying social media platforms were “very” or “somewhat” influential in helping them choose a destination for their beach vacation. Their Western counterparts were less susceptible, – 39% in North America and 24% in Europe.

Asians and Westerners were on par in their love of a good deal. One in two travellers said last-minute package flight/hotel travel deals influenced their choice of destination. In Asia, the Thais (67%), South Koreans (65%) and Japanese (64%) were the most likely to have a bargain deal influence their choice of destination.

Tags / Keywords: Expedia.com, Flip Flop report, 2014, Malaysia, Asia, beach, vacation, social media, selfie

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