“More money, less time” has been influencing working-age travellers.
30th November 2022
There are questions about how much hospitality and tourism businesses can adjust to meet the customer needs of contemporary issues. “More money, less time” – the latest trend has been influencing not only the travellers’ behaviours but also the destination where travellers visit.
Tourists of working ages (23-55 years old) are most affected by “More money, less time”. People often need to clock in extra hours due to many outside and inside factors affecting the workload, such as the pandemic, lack of labour, etc. Therefore, spending time on recreational activities is highly valuable to many tourists. The evidence of “More money, less time” can be seen in some countries such as Japan, South Korea and China.
The indication of “More money, less time” – Overworking
Japan is the first country that comes to mind when thinking about overworking culture. The legal number of hours a person normally works per week according to Japanese labour law is 40 hours, which is similar to developed European countries. However, OECD highlighted that Japan is among the top countries with the longest working hours every year, surpassing many European countries like the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany.
In 2016, A survey done by the Japanese government indicated that close to 25% of local companies require their employee to work at least 80 hours of overtime a month. To combat the overwork problem, Japanese policymaker reformed their labour law so that a person is limited to 45 hours a month of overtime. But the situation has stayed the same; as Insider noted in 2021, almost 9000 companies violated overtime laws, some even having their employees work 200 hours of overtime a month. Japan even has a word to describe this overwork problem – Karoshi meaning “death by overwork”.
Looking to the west of Japan, South Korea is in a worse predicament for overwork than Japan. Before the Korean labour amendment in 2018, people were allowed to work up to 68 hours a week, which caused a wide range of issues, from suicide to heavy drinking. Korea has its own word to describe the overwork culture like Japan called “Gwarosa”.
For the country with 2nd largest economy, China, is also dealing with the same matter of contention of overwork. Especially with many tech companies apply the dangerous overtime culture called “996”, in which employees work from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. This work culture has even been endorsed by Jack Ma, the Alibaba founder. The phenomenon is so common in China that “Guolaosi” has been coined for it.
The result is “More money, less time” for the tourism industry.
This phenomenon causes several barriers to tourist behaviour of tourists. Travellers who are limited by time typically choose locations in their own and close country rather than go to far-flung destinations.
The report of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports shows that between 60 and 80 per cent of all foreign visitors to the country are from Asia between 2019 and 2022. When broken down by type of visitors by nationality, Chinese, South Korean, and Japanese visitors consistently rank in the top 20. Therefore, Thailand is the go-to destination for tourists with “more money, less time” because of its convenient location.
Similarly, China and South Korea also placed among the top 15 source countries for tourists travelling to Singapore in 2022. Simultaneously, approximately 1,550,00 visitors aged 23 to 55 travelled to Singapore between February 2022 and July 2022.
In addition to affecting the choice of destination, this issue also affects the travelling budget of tourists. Those in this situation will often spend more money on the best services and items as if they are rewarding themselves with the best. Besides, Thailand recorded that visitors in countries with high overtime hours (China, Korea, Japan) spent $197 – $173 a day while visiting their country. This is among the top 20 foreign tourists spending the most per Capita in Thailand in 2019. Once again, all three countries (China, Korea, and Japan) were also recognized by Singapore as three countries with outstanding contributions to Tourism Receipts per Top Country with expenditures of about 38.3 million dollars – 536.86 million dollars.
“Advantages or disadvantages?!?!”
“More money, less time” also positively impacts the hospitality and tourism industry for the above effects. More specifically, the country has a high number of tourists each year, which indicates that the tourism standard of those countries presents in high excellence. In addition, this is also the way to promote the country at an accessible price. As well as helps promote the tourism economy of those countries by supporting in creating a soaring contribution to their GDP.
What are the consequences of “More money, less time”? The first major problem is that a lot of tourist’s destinations infrastructure having to deal with the extra influx of people due to “More money, less time” issue. Next, overcrowding may cause significant damage to the local ecosystem if not managed, which is bleak for many destinations that focus on nature. The final knock-off effect of “More money, less time” is the increased waste accumulation as more people gather in tourist destinations. The waste problem due to “More money, less time” might ruin the brand image if those destinations do not create plans to solve the issue.
In summary, the “More money, less time” trend has influenced tourists’ travel behaviour in working-ages to value their travel time and travel closer to tourist destinations. This situation is highlighted best in Japan, Korea, and China. The phenomenon does have multiple benefits for the hospitality industry. Otherwise, this trend detriments it may bring to tourist destinations should be considered by countries and hospitality companies.
How would you choose a destination if you had more money but less time? Leave a comment below.