Airbnb: Food for thought survey

BANGKOK, 25 September 2017: According to Airbnb Asia Pacific’s regional travel survey, travellers are getting more adventurous with food and activities.

The APAC survey showed 71% of people emphasised the importance of trying local food while on vacation, and six out of 10 (59%) travellers keen to try new experiences or activities.

The findings prompted Airbnb to partner with four high profile chefs: Ian Kittichai (Thailand); Manish Mehrotra (India); Tony Yoo (South Korea); and Koh Kentetsu (Japan) for the Airbnb Kitchens of Asia initiative.

It encourages travellers to try or cook authentic Asian dishes and delicacies from India, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

APAC women travellers are more adventurous when it comes to trying different foods. The Airbnb APAC Travel survey, which was conducted in seven countries  (Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand) found women travellers from China (73%), India (74%), Japan (80%), Singapore (84%), South Korea (59%) and Thailand (69%), are more inclined to feel it is important to sample local cuisine than their male counterparts. The only exception was Australia where men were more keen to try local dishes (76%) compared with 71% of women.

In general, Singaporean travellers are most likely to try local food (81%), whereas only 58% of travellers from South Korea are inclined to experiment while on holiday.

In the Millennial generation, Australia (77%), China (65%), India (72%), Japan (83%), Singapore (79%) and South Korea (59%).

The 18-24-year-old age group was most open to new ideas and the importance of trying local foods. Yet surprisingly, in Thailand, it was the over 55s who were more open to trying new flavours and cuisines on their vacations (82%) compared with 55% in the younger Millennial generation.

Moreover, while 76% of APAC travellers say local food influences their choice of holiday destination it increases to 87% for Indian travellers and dips to 62% for Thai travellers.

Findings for the survey showed almost half of APAC travelers (46%) are reluctant to cook in their rented accommodation due to the lack of kitchen facilities, while 41% do not want to spend time cooking, or shopping, while on holiday and 43% have a preference to eat out and try local dishes.

However, more than 80% of Airbnb listings in APAC have kitchen facilities, allowing travellers the flexibility of preparing their own meals when renting villas or apartments.

One fifth of solo travellers cook on vacation, compared to 46% of family travellers

When vacationing with family, travellers do not always have the opportunity to explore the local food scene. In fact, the Survey revealed that 46% of travellers are more likely to cook in their accommodation when they travel with family as compared to only 21% of solo travellers.

There are regional variations to the findings, with family groups traveling from Japan the least likely to cook at just 23%. On the other hand, 46%, 47%, 64% and 66% of Indian, Chinese, Thai and South Korean travellers respectively would be more likely to cook in their accommodation when they are traveling with their families.

Six of out 10 travellers like to try new experiences and activities

As well as wanting to try local cuisine, the survey found that 59% of all APAC travellers interviewed want to try new activities or experiences on holiday. This rises to 70% of Singaporean, 68% of Indian and 65% of Australian travelers who are keen to try something different and new. Japanese travellers are the least likely to embrace new activities and adventures at 31%.

“Our Survey has shown that people across the region, irrespective of age or gender, have a desire to really experience the places that they travel to, not just visit. For that reason, the Airbnb Kitchens of Asia initiative brings together four of the best chefs.The result is a series of great tasting recipes packed full of the essence of Indian, Korean, Thai and Japanese cuisine for travellers to re-create either on vacation at an Airbnb listing or once they are back home,” said Airbnb regional director Asia Pacific, Siew Kum-Hong.