Insights on domestic travel plans across SEA in view of easing COVID-19 restrictions

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Milieu Insight, Southeast Asian consumer research, and analytics firm, today announced findings of domestic travel plans for summer vacation across the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Respondents from the Philippines and Indonesia have shown the highest willingness for domestic travel. With much of the movement restrictions across Asia being lifted, the travel industry is finally opening up. Over 80% of domestic travelers in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam have indicated a likelihood of engaging with travel agency services for their domestic travel and vacation plans.

Travelers from the Philippines remain most concerned with the pandemic

Travelers from Indonesia (89%), Vietnam (83%), and Thailand (79%) have expressed the least concern for themselves when it comes to domestic travel. This willingness to travel is also reflected in the domestic travel policies of these countries as there are minimal restrictions involved in their interstate/inter-provincial travels. In February 2022, Vietnam saw a total of 9.6 million domestic travelers.

Domestic travel is widely accepted by travelers due to the fear of a pandemic resurgence. Travelers do not wish to be unwittingly stranded from home and work.

On the other hand, we see that 40% of respondents from the Philippines remain highly concerned for their safety even towards domestic travel. Domestic travel within the Philippines is still only limited to select destinations and with restrictions (as of 11 May 2022).

Travel habits and preferences of domestic travelers in SEA

When planning for their upcoming summer vacation, most travelers across all five countries are looking to unwind and reconnect with their families after two years of pandemic isolation (Philippines 83%, Indonesia 82%, Vietnam 78%, Malaysia 81%, Thailand 79%). Just recently in April 2022, Indonesia saw mudik mass migration for Idul Fitri (end of Ramadan), where 31% of the population was estimated by the Indonesian Transport Ministry to travel back to their hometowns and spend time with their extended family.

Hotels remain the top choice for accommodation across all five countries, with half of the travelers in Vietnam also showing a preference for Resorts, and more than half from Thailand also preferring Pool Villas (54%).

Family-friendly destinations should look to see high popularity this summer, especially places that are inclusive of multigenerational groups. These could be activities like a road trip to a national park or other tourist spots in a neighboring state, visiting a beach resort that provides entertainment for all ages, or even taking time off to unwind from the big city hustle and bustle in a tranquil village.

Travel agencies sought after even for domestic travels

Despite only traveling within their home countries most Southeast Asian travelers will still engage with a travel agency to plan their domestic travel and vacation plans. Especially those from Indonesia (85%), the Philippines (82%), and Vietnam (83%). Engaging with a travel agent may ensure a less stressful trip, creating more time and leisure for travelers to enjoy their first post-pandemic vacation with their loved ones.


Based on Milieu Insight surveys with N=1000 respondents each from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia, conducted in April 2022.

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