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Meet the Asian travelers making up the largest market in the world

Here's the four types of Asian travelers

Travel is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for Asian travelers, a new study has found.

Four out of five travelers in Asia Pacific said travel was a necessary part of life and that they're willing to prioritize time off work and set aside money for trips, according to a new study by technology provider Sabre and research firm The Futures Company.

That comes as Asia Pacific has already developed the largest tourism industry in the world, by gross domestic product (GDP) contribution and employment, according to MasterCard's Asia Pacific Destination Index 2015.

But while the variety of locales and experiences in the region may vary widely, the travelers there can be typecast into four different groups, according to Sabre and The Futures' "The Polarisation of Asian Travelers" study.


Making up the largest proportion, with 38-percent of Asian travelers falling into this category, the Explorer placed a high value on self-actualization and self-discovery, the study said. They're more likely to plan on the go and even leave accommodation bookings for after they arrive to their destination, it said.

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"In the past, you'd buy a flight from point A to point B, but The Explorer wants to make decisions on the go," Todd Arthur, Vice President of sales and market development for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific, told CNBC. "The group is far more likely to try different types of restaurants and connect with locals."


For the Follower, travel was more about enjoying the moment with loved ones. They're far more likely to take a back seat and let their travel partners play a key role in travel plans. They can often see planning as tedious and place more emphasis on the quality time spent, rather than the destination or experiences.


Travel was about establishing status, for the Connector. They often loved the process of planning in advance of their trips. The Connector viewed travel as an avenue to express themselves and was constantly sharing their experiences with friends and family.


Preferring to be taken care of by others, this group commonly used agencies to help plan their trip. The Opportunist liked to pamper themselves through experiences and was often tempted by promotions and incentives along the way. This group found it exciting to immerse into a new culture, but wanted to avoid the hassles of travel when possible.

Sabre and The Futures Company's research also found that a whopping 86 percent of travelers felt travel was a form of social currency that forged connections and allowed travelers to share experiences among family and friends.

But as technology has become a default part of the travel process for many, information overload was a concern. Many surveyed believed the industry has gone from a lack of information too an oversupply in just the past few years, with 52-percent of travelers saying there were too many travel options and too much information available, compared with just 8 percent who said that was the case in previous surveys just three to five years ago.

That comes amid the rise of a variety of travel booking, planning and review websites.

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