Lifestyle Society

Survey: 86% Of Malaysians Are Anxious About The Economy But 1 in 5 Still Have Plans To Travel Overseas in 2023

Destination over dollar.

Kuala Lumpur, 16 December 2022 – If the economic uncertainties are making you worried or anxious about your holiday plans for 2023, you’re not alone. Almost 4 in 5 travellers in Asia are anxious about travelling next year (2023), according to a new study by Klook[1].

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However, concerns around inflation and rising costs are not stopping travellers from packing their bags. An overwhelming majority (81%) are eager to travel internationally in the new year, with one-third planning to take at least 2 to 4 trips.

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In Malaysia, while almost 86% of travellers surveyed are anxious about traveling internationally in 2023 given economic uncertainties, more than three quarters of those travellers are still eager to travel internationally again in 2023. In fact, 31% of Malaysian travellers plan for 2 to 4 holidays for 2023, which is reflective of the trend across Asia.

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86% of malaysians are anxious about the economy but 1 in 5 still have plans to travel overseas in 2023
Infographic by Klook

Which concerns travellers more: catching Covid-19 or rising costs of travel?

A whopping 63% of travellers in Asia are worried about the increasing price tags associated with travel. However, the desire to travel appears to be even stronger, with more than 80% planning to spend the same or more on travel. Among the respondents, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan travellers ranked the highest for cost as a concern. Despite this concern, a third of Malaysian travellers are determined to spend more on a travel budget than they previously have.

Beyond the rising cost of travel, concerns around Covid-19 still remain amongst travellers in Asia, with 39% worried about catching the virus while on holiday.

[1] The travelsilience survey was conducted in November 2022 through Stickybeak with a total of 902 respondents across 9 markets including Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and Korea.


Vacation all the way, no matter the obstacles

Despite feeling anxious about travel in the face of a looming global recession, travellers in Asia are not giving up on their travel plans just yet. 35% will opt for a nearer destination or travel during off-peak seasons, while 34% are willing to cut back on other expenses in order to save more for travel.

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To allay concerns, half of travellers aim to plan their itinerary ahead of time to maximize the experiences during their trips. For those who are more conscious of health and safety, 43% will ensure that they purchase travel insurance, and 35% will look to explore less crowded places within their destinations to minimize risk and exposure.

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Is 2023 the Year of ‘Travesillience’?

Rachel Tan, General Manager of Klook Malaysia, predicts that in 2023, travellers will remain resilient against all odds.

“There has been tremendous demand and growth in cross-border travel ever since Malaysia fully opened its borders in April 2022. Travel behaviours have certainly evolved but one thing that has not changed is the undeniable draw of the joy of travel. To be able to experience something new in-person, travel overseas with family and friends, and build great memories filled with joy is something that everyone misses, and it is clear from our survey that Malaysians intend to make up for lost time. 2023 is the Year of Travelsilience (travel and resilience), where travellers pursue travel to create new memorable experiences, despite all struggles and any headwinds.” she elaborates.

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With Klook, travellers have the world at their fingertips. From popular attractions to cosy lesser-known activities, there is a wide range of experiences for travellers to dive into and discover joy during their trips. In 2022, Klook delivered over 108 million hours of joy through experiences booked via its app and website.

Across Asia, a common thread of discovery and family-centric activities take centre stage. Usual suspects such as Museums, Theme Parks and Zoos & Animal Parks lead the way for the top experiences in Asia. Additionally, there has also been strong demand for car rentals and outdoor experiences such as Walking Tours and Trekking – ​​suggesting that travellers are going beyond metropolitan areas and exploring areas beyond the city.[2]

Key Survey Highlights – [Malaysia]

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  • 86% of travellers in Malaysia are anxious about traveling internationally in 2023 given economic uncertainties.
  • However, 86% of those surveyed are eager to travel internationally again in 2023.
  • 87% of eager travellers in Malaysia plan to go on at least one international holiday in 2023, and almost one third (31%) of travellers plan for 2 to 4 holidays for 2023.
  • 1 in 5 Malaysians surveyed have already booked an international holiday in 2023
  • Top travel concerns from people in Malaysia are the cost of travel (71%), followed by catching COVID while traveling (43%), flight delays and lost baggage (34%), transportation (29%), having the right travel documentation (27%), and language barriers (25%).
  • Almost 40% plan to spend more on travel (35%), 39% travel budgets remain the same, and only 27% are planning to spend less on travel
  • To combat rising travel costs, people in Malaysia will travel to a nearer destination (47%), travel for shorter periods of time (37%), cut back on expenses (36%), travel during off-peak periods (32%), postpone or delay travel plans (28%), and increase their travel budget (27%).

[1] The travelsilience survey was conducted in November 2022 through Stickybeak with a total of 902 respondents across 9 markets including Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and Korea.

[2] Based on Klook internal data

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