by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic by BLOOMBERG
SOME 65% of Malaysian travellers prefer to travel locally at the moment while 40% prefer to travel in international destinations by the middle of 2022, according to data from the Visa Voice of the Consumer.
The research also revealed that most Malaysian travellers opt for a cashless travelling for a safer option.
“Even as state and country borders open for travel, personal safety remains a priority for consumers. Businesses, be it hotels, restaurants, transportation or recreation, must continue to be nimble in managing restrictions and preventing future infection waves,” Visa Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon said in a statement.
“One of the activities all travellers do regardless of destination is making payments. That is why digital payments will play a crucial role in both stimulating business recovery as well as limiting physical contact and the spread of infection,” he added.
Travellers throughout Asia Pacific are also approaching their travels differently compared to pre-pandemic days.
Two in five (42%) of the respondents are planning to avoid crowded tourist spots, while 44% plan to carry more cards or use their mobile phones for payments to avoid going to money changers or touching cash in general.
Over half (53%) will make the extra effort to book accommodation that is safe and quality assured.
“During the pandemic, contactless payment has seen significant growth due to its speed, convenience and safety.
“We believe that cashless payment habits will continue to be the norm in a post-pandemic era as contactless remains the first choice for face-to-face transactions,” Ng said further.
Despite the lust for travel, the top three concerns that people are looking out for are the vaccination status (66%), the safety of travel destinations from Covid-19 (66%) and the declining case of global infection (56%).
The shift of traveling also affected travellers from Asia Pacific where 25% of them plan to avoid crowded tourist spots, 44% plan to use digital payments and 53% prefer to look for safer and quality accommodation.
While in Malaysia, top international destinations that Malaysians are keen to visit includes China, Australia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore with 16% are eager to travel soon with the travel bubble, 54% interested in the travel bubble and only three out of 10 are not keen with the travel bubble.
The post-pandemic era is making everyone anxious with personal safety hence, the contactless payment habit is now significant for daily transactions. Also, it is important to utilise the digital transaction to restore the business recovery with the implementation of standard operating procedures through minimised physical contact.