The Who, What, Where and Why of Souvenir Buying

Holiday Inn Souvenir Study

  • 16-Jul-15
The Who, What, Where and Why of Souvenir Buying

 According to the second set of findings from the Holiday Inn® Souvenir Study, 70% of respondents feel that souvenirs are an important part of the holiday experience, and only 20% of travellers return home empty handed.

Almost half of the respondents attributed this to the desire of bringing part of the holiday home though only one in 10 respondents are souvenir hobbyists. It was also found that younger travellers are more likely to place importance on buying souvenirs when compared to older travellers.

The new results follow on from the first edition of the Holiday Inn Souvenir Study, the “Evolution of Souvenirs”, which explored the development of souvenirs over time. With over 1 billion tourists traversing the globe every year, the survey results, which are showcased in an infographic, takes a closer look at the multi-million dollar souvenir industry, discovering the latest trends in souvenir buying behaviour across the Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region. The Value of Souvenirs infographic reveals travellers’ motivations behind souvenir buying, their preferred souvenir buying haunts and gift preference. As a region, buying souvenirs for family members remained as the top priority with an average spend of US$30 per gift, with travellers from Australia, Southeast Asia and Middle East prioritising their partners first. Buying gifts for co-workers fell lower on the list, except for travellers from Japan, where it is customary to give souvenirs to colleagues. The average budget set aside for colleagues is about US$13.

Across the region, Japanese travellers were also found to be the most receptive to souvenir requests from others ahead of a trip. With the growing trend towards locally-sourced and handmade products, over half of all travellers opt to do their souvenir shopping in local markets or specialty stores. Contrary to popular belief, less than a quarter of travellers will purchase souvenirs from tourist landmarks or attractions. The least preferred souvenirs were found to be novelty and educational items, and decorative trinkets.

Over 900 travellers, from Australasia, India, Japan, the Middle East, South East Asia and South Africa took part in the survey, which focused on understanding the value travellers place on buying and receiving souvenirs as part of their travel experience.

More than 3 in 4 travellers aged 25 and below think souvenirs are an important part of travelling and 4 in 5 travellers from South East Asia will be more than happy to accommodate souvenir requests from friends and family. With the diverse cultures in South East Asia, local food items make the best souvenirs representing the different cuisines and flavours. Kaya (fragrant coconut jam) from Singapore or kopi luwak (coffee beans naturally rocessed after being eaten by the civet cat) from Indonesia are some of the most unique buys for family and friends when travelling in South East Asia.

The third and final infographic in the Holiday Inn Souvenir Study will explore the wackiest and most wonderful souvenirs received by travellers from across the region.

Keep updated on the Souvenirs Study and all other Holiday Inn news and campaigns by visiting

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