An analysis of Agoda data from 2016 revealed that Hong Kongers book the furthest in advance and Saudi Arabians the most last minute, as the trend on the OTA shifts towards in-advance bookings.
Contrary to the perception of being in an age of ‘instant gratification’, lead-time for Agoda bookings on average increased by two days compared to 2015, said Andy Edwards, Agoda’s global director brand and communications.
“Price and choice play a driving factor when booking travel... Popular culture portrays this image of the adventurous, last-minute traveller, but in reality consumers are investing more time preparing for their holiday to get the most out of their well-deserved break,” he explained.
In Agoda’s ranking of forward planners by nationality, Hong Kongers took top spot for the second year running, on average booking 49.4 days prior to travel. In second place are Russians, who have moved up two rungs from fourth position in 2015, with a booking lead-time of 46 days.
Australia follows in third place (44.3 days), then Taiwan (43.3 days) and the UK (37.2 days) respectively.
In the bottom five spots are Malaysia (24.4 days), India (21.7 days), Vietnam (18.7 days), Indonesia (18 days) and Saudi Arabia (16.9 days).
Meanwhile, when it comes to booking accommodation overseas versus domestic travel, Singapore and Hong Kong took joint lead due to the city size, with nearly all bookings (99 per cent) being outbound. The UK came in third, with 38 per cent of hotel bookings outbound and 62 per cent booked domestically.
On the other hand, findings from the powerhouse markets of the US and China go in the other direction. In the US, just eight per cent of all hotel bookings support international travel and 92 per cent support domestic travel, while some 98 per cent of China's bookings are placed domestically.