Family holiday? Pack that idea away

Local | Michelle Li Jul 18, 2017
Hongkongers are the least likely people anywhere to travel with their family even though they are among the most likely to believe that doing so would be beneficial, an international survey found.

The survey of 17,079 people in 28 countries and cities conducted in May by travel website Expedia found that less than 30 percent of the 627 Hong Kong respondents - including 29 percent of teenagers, 25 percent of parents and 21 percent of non-parents - were able to take a family vacation more than once a year.

This is despite an overall surge in family travel worldwide.

Most Hongkongers (70 percent) take one family vacation every three years.

The most frequent family travelers were the South Koreans - 68 percent went on a family trip more than once a year, including 74 percent of teenagers, 68 percent of parents and 57 percent of non-parents.

"It has been found that Hongkongers get the least annual leave - only 14 days on average," said June Tsang Yuen-yee, Expedia's senior marketing manager in Hong Kong and Taiwan. "The time they have for family is relatively little."

In addition, 47 percent of the Hong Kong parents admitted not enjoying traveling with children - the highest percentage among all places surveyed, and almost five times that of Finland, where only 10 percent of parents disliked family travel.

Some 27 percent of SAR parents would rather leave the kids behind - the second highest in Asia, with 41 percent citing reasons about missing school, 40 percent to reconnect with their partner and 20 percent needing a break from the children.

"The reason why Hongkongers may enjoy taking family vacations less than their Asian counterparts could be a stricter parenting style," Tsang said.

"It depends on whether the parents are willing to loosen control, for example, allowing a later curfew. Many Hong Kong parents will not be willing to do so."

The results also confirmed that Hong Kong, as well as Taiwan, had the strictest parents in the world - 26 percent would let go of the rules during travel but nearly half wanted to keep the same rules as at home. This is second only to the Taiwanese where 50 percent would keep the same parenting style while on holiday.

That said, a near unanimous opinion was shared by Hongkongers that family vacations are meaningful and can bring members closer together.

Almost all (94 percent) of Hong Kong parents agreed that bringing children along made the trip more meaningful - the second-highest worldwide after Taiwan (98 percent), as well as 98 percent of Hong Kong teenagers, the highest worldwide.

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June 2018