Travel agencies remain the most popular touchpoint for Malaysian travellers when planning their vacations both online and off, according to GfK's Consumer Travel Tracker research.
The research was conducted online in Malaysia from last December to January 2015 with over 500 respondents who had made a travel booking in the last three months.
About 80 per cent of Malaysian travellers use online channels when planning their trips, with 45 per cent using both online and offline platforms and the remaining using only the Internet. Offline channels continue to play an important role as they are still used by one in five travellers.
Around 40 per cent of those surveyed said they use travel agency websites, making it the most popular of all the online and offline touch points. OTAs and airline websites are the next two most frequently used sources, as indicated by 33 and 30 per cent of respondents respectively.
“Consumers are relying heavily on the Internet, so it is very important that travel agencies establish a strong presence on this platform to reach out to a wider audience,” said managing director of GfK Malaysia, Selinna Chin.
About two-thirds of the respondents prefer bundled packages that include ticket and accommodation.
The study also revealed that Malaysian consumers tend to be mid-term bookers, with 41 per cent preferring to book their trips three to four months in advance.
Their top-three booking purposes are for family travel, rest and relaxation, and packaged holidays.
Asian countries remain the choice destinations for 86 per cent of respondents, with China being the most popular, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand.