Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Fri November 06 2015

Which Region Spends The Most on Leisure Travel?

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | November 06, 2015

Which Region Spends The Most on Leisure Travel?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Travelers from North and South America intend to spend more money on their next international leisure trip than travelers from any other region of the world. However travelers from Asia Pacific report the largest intended travel budget growth, according to Visa's 2015 Global Travel Intentions Study.

Respondents from that region intend to spend an average of $3,501 on their next international leisure trip, up 71 percent from their previous trip's anticipated budget of $2,051.

Meanwhile, survey respondents from the Americas posted an average intended budget of $4,501, signaling a 66 percent rise over their previous trip's expected budget of $2,715.

Europe ranked third with a plus-56 percent change, according to the study.

"Asia Pacific travelers are driving the global travel spend and we expect this trend to continue," said Visa Asia Pacific's Senior Director Of Cross-Border And Channel Marketing Vivian Pan in a statement. "Asia Pacific is an extremely well-connected region, and it will benefit from much of the increased spend from within the region. The intention to increase spend certainly shows a desire to have new experiences and unique activities while abroad."

Within Asia Pacific, Malaysia (118 percent change), Hong Kong and South Korea (both 94 percent change) led the way.

Global Trends

Interestingly, while more than half of survey respondents (54 percent) indicated that they begin planning for their international trips with a fixed budget in mind, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) admitted that they are willing to spend extra on a trip if they come across something unexpected. 

Globally, surveyed travelers carried an average of $1,000 in cash with them on their trip, with men typically carrying more cash than women. 

But not all of that money gets spent. Visa's study found that on average travelers brought back $130 of leftover cash.

Beyond the international leisure trip necessities like airfare, accommodations and ground transportation, travelers are also purchasing souvenirs, mainly local food (37 percent), apparel (37 percent) and handicrafts (34 percent).

While local food specialties were found to be the most popular purchase among Asia Pacific-based travelers, apparel took the top spot for travelers from the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. However it turns out that fridge magnets (31 percent) are the most frequent souvenir purchased among European travelers. 


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