ATJ END OF YEAR 2016 TRENDS RELEASE
ATJ TRAVELERS RECAP TRENDS FROM 2016; LAY OUT TRAVEL PREDICTIONS FOR YEAR AHEAD
Survey Sweeps Preferences of Past and Current Travelers from Leading Custom Tour Operator
BOULDER, COLO. - (NOVEMBER 29, 2016) - In advance of its 30th anniversary in 2017, ATJ, a U.S.-based custom tour operator that specializes in creating custom and small group trips to the Asia-Pacific region, recently completed a survey of all past and current travelers. The results showcase a shift towards multigenerational travel, itineraries built for foodies and a continued desire for local immersion.
“The majority of travelers who completed the survey are well-versed in the Asia-Pacific region, as they have traveled with us up to four times previously,” said Kirsten Louy-Nasty, ATJ CEO. “We feel their responses provide expert-level insight into what we can expect to see from those venturing on trips to the region in 2017.”
Key findings from the survey include:
- Vietnam and Japan are at the top of traveler’s lists for 2017. The top three destinations travelers would most like to visit in 2017 include Vietnam (18 percent), Japan (16 percent) and Sri Lanka (11 percent).
- But, India is where they’re actually going. One hundred percent of respondents with trips already booked for 2017 are headed to India.
- Parents with babies and toddlers aren’t calling a babysitter. The majority of travelers going to Asia and the Pacific with kids are traveling with children aged 0-5 (40 percent); 30 percent are traveling with children 6-10 years old, and another 30 percent are traveling with 11-18 year olds.
- The more authentic, local experiences, the better. According to respondents, the three most important things to do when traveling include (1) visiting local cultural sites, (2) immersing oneself in the local culture and (3) exploring the local culinary scene.
- China gets the vote for all-time, favorite destination. Myanmar places second with 11 percent, and Cambodia follows at 9 percent.
- Myanmar is so nice, they’d like to do it twice. Destinations to which travelers would most like to return include Myanmar (22 percent), Vietnam (11 percent) and India (9 percent).
- Love wins. The top three types of trips travelers are planning to take to the Asia-Pacific region in 2017 are romantic/with a spouse (67 percent), family and multigenerational (32 percent) and a girlfriend getaway (16 percent).
- Vietnam and Thailand are the best destinations to get your “Asia-legs.” Thirty-three percent of respondents traveled to Vietnam for their first trip to the Asia-Pacific region, while another 28 percent chose Thailand as their introduction to the region.
- Adventure by day, comfort by night. The most important aspects of a trip include cultural immersion (86 percent), location (76 percent) and comfort (73 percent).
“These trends fall directly in line with what we’re seeing on the trip coordination side,” said Eric Kareus, ATJ co-owner and director of travel. “More travelers are interested in visiting Vietnam, in part due to its recent emergence as a modern art hub; India has always been a popular destination, and with 2017 marking the country’s 70th anniversary of independence from British rule, alongside new itineraries such as ‘Mumbai by Dawn,’ which allows our travelers to see the newspaper routes and the flower, fish and spice markets that get the city going before the sun rises, the destination continues to grow in popularity.”
“I’m seeing continued growth in family vacations and multigenerational trips,” said Pat O’Connell, award-winning ATJ family travel specialist. “When crafting itineraries for these groups, we be sure to include experiences that are memorable for family members of all ages -- such as including a visit to a school so kids can interact with children their own age -- while also taking advantage of deals where available; destinations like Bhutan allow one child under 11 to travel free for every paying adult.”
“It’s interesting to see so many of our travelers visited Vietnam or Thailand for their first trip to Asia and the Pacific,” said Kareus. “We founded our company in 1987, first offering custom trips to Thailand, so Thailand is where it all started for us as well. And, last but not least, we certainly excel at creating itineraries that combine adventure with comfort and luxury -- be it a trip to Bali where our travelers hike through the remote Munti Gunung district during the day and then dine at the Balinese Princess’ palace by night, or exploring 12th century temples in Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia and then retiring to a tented, luxury suite located adjacent to the temple that evening.”
Based in Boulder, Colo., ATJ’s team of Travel Specialists work with partners in every corner of Asia and the Pacific to create personalized, memorable and immersive travel experiences for its clients. ATJ develops unique itineraries that can be customized to focus on specific interests such as culinary travel, photography or cycling. ATJ’s team of Travel Specialists are unparalleled in their expertise and knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, and as such, ATJ has been named to Travel + Leisure’s A-List Awards for the past five consecutive years, and a “Top 10 Tour Operator” in the magazine’s World’s Best Awards.
About ATJ (Asia Transpacific Journeys)
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, ATJ (Asia Transpacific Journeys) is a U.S. based tour-operator specializing in custom journeys and small group trips to the Asia Pacific region, in locations from Japan and Thailand, to Sri Lanka and beyond. Based in Boulder, Colo., ATJ’s team of Travel Specialists work with partners in every corner of Asia Pacific to create personalized, memorable and immersive travel experiences for its clients. ATJ develops custom itineraries that provide adventure by day and comfort by night for an individual or couple, or for small group departures, which include no more than 18 travelers. Itineraries can be customized to focus on specific interests such as culinary travel, photography or cycling. ATJ’s team of Travel Specialists are unparalleled in their expertise and knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, and as such, ATJ has been named to Travel + Leisure’s A-List Awards for the past five consecutive years, and a “Top 10 Tour Operator” in the magazine’s World’s Best Awards, while its itinerary to “Buddhist Asia” was named one of National Geographic Traveler’s Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime. For more information visit www.atj.com, or visit us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.