Love of food sends millennials packing

16:22 SGT December 13, 2017
Food drives for Malaysian and Australian millennials

Millennials from Malaysia and Australia find the lure of food enough of a motivation to pack up their bags and explore local places that serve the most delicious fares, said online travel booking platform Agoda.

In its latest Travel and Tech Study, findings revealed Malaysian millennials travel to experience their own national culture, especially to explore their country’s rich and diverse cuisines, and natural landscapes.

Domestic travel in Malaysia surged by an additional 10 million visits in 2016, said Agoda, with 77% of Malaysia’s travellers identifying food and dining as a preferred holiday experience, the study further showed.

Indeed, Malaysia’s entrenched foodie culture plays a key role, Agoda noted.

“The growth of domestic travel shows that Malaysian millennials are re-discovering their own national heritage,” said Andrew Edwards, Agoda’s global director for Brand and Communications. “Anyone who has eaten in Malaysia knows how great the food is but what stands out is the fact that they are getting off the beaten track to experience their country’s scenery and local cultures — this is what separates millennials from older travellers.”

The millennials’ quest for the best food was evident in the ranking of the top three destinations — Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Malacca — all famous for local cuisines such as Penang Laksa and Malacca Chicken Rice Balls, as well as their access to international dining options.

Apart from food, 73% of travellers from Malaysia also looked for scenic getaways, the second most important factor in making their holiday decisions — evident from top destinations such as Penang, Malacca and Kota Kinabalu. Also ranking highly, 67% of travellers wished to explore the diverse culture and lifestyle offered in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, ‘food and dining’ is the most popular travel activity for 64% of Australian millennial travellers, followed by ‘nature or scenery’ at 63%.

Spoiled with some of the best beaches and landscapes in the world, Australians love to chase the heat wherever they go, said Agoda, with ‘sun, island, beach’ at 61%, rounding out the top three preferred travel experiences.

Turning the Australian traveller stereotype on its head, only 20% identified ‘bars and nightlife’ as a preferred travel activity.

“Australia is a nation of foodies and its major cities are thriving melting pots of food and culture,” Edwards said. “Our research indicates that Aussies are using this passion for food to experience more and more of the country.”