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NZers Well-Travelled, Independent & Tech-Savvy

MasterCard Asian Lifestyles Survey Shows New Zealanders Well-Travelled, Independent & Tech-Savvy

Auckland, March 13, 2003 – New Zealanders are among the Asia/Pacific region’s most travelled people, the least keen on group travel and among those most likely to use the Internet to book their personal trips. All these were revealed in the latest MasterCard Asian Lifestyles survey, which is designed to monitor personal travel trends across the Asia/Pacific region.

When asked if they had traveled on a commercial airline for personal reasons in the last half of 2002, New Zealanders (29%) rank fourth out of the 13 countries surveyed. Respondents from Hong Kong (40%) travelled more than others in the region, followed by Singapore (37%) and Taiwan (35%). Those who travelled least for personal reasons included those from China (four percent), India and Indonesia (both three percent).

New Zealanders, at 94%, led the way in having the penchant to travel alone, ahead of Australia at 89% and Korea at 82%. They are also the third most likely to use the Internet to book personal trips, at 19%, behind the Japanese (45%) and Koreans (29%).

Fewer Personal Trips in the Past Six Months Overall, the survey shows that, across Asia/Pacific, people made fewer personal trips in the last six months of 2002 (17%) when compared with the same period in 2001 (19%). Of the 13 markets polled, the survey found that this drop was most significant in Hong Kong and Korea. For the last six months of 2002, 40% of Hong Kong’s residents and 14% of Koreans made personal trips. This compared to 68% of the respondents from Hong Kong and 22% from Korea for the same period in 2001.

Other highlights include:

Bucking the slowdown in travel across Asia/Pacific were Singapore (37%) and Taiwan (35%). As for destinations, 75% of travelers in Asia/Pacific visited one or more countries within the region. Nine of out the 13 markets polled registered pessimistic sentiments for travels in the next six months. The three-way tie for favorite airlines for personal travels were among Singapore Airlines (11%), Cathay Pacific Airways (11%) and Thai Airways International (11%).

Stuart McDonald, MasterCard International senior vice president for Corporate Services Asia/Pacific said, “While the number of personal trips have decreased, our survey indicated that more travelers took longer trips in the second half of 2002 compared to the same period in 2001 It appears consumers still feel they need to take regular breaks but with the global economic downturn and heightened security concerns, they also want to maximize their holidays.” -more-

MasterCard International – Page 2
MasterCard Asian Lifestyles Survey Showed Decrease in Personal Travels in Asia/Pacific March 13, 2003 According to Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Economic Advisor to MasterCard International in Asia/Pacific, “Intra-regional travels within Asia/Pacific will likely become more attractive for some time to come. This will have far reaching implications for the travel and hospitality industry as they will need to cater to an increasingly diverse mix of customers, especially the newer travelers from China who are poised to become of the largest tourist group in the region.”

The Asia Lifestyles survey was conducted in December 2002 and polled 5,479 consumers from 13 markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Approximately 400 respondents per market were interviewed, except for China where 600 interviews were conducted (200 each in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou).

Personal Travels in the Past Six Months On average, 17% of the region respondents polled had, in the last six months of 2002, traveled on a commercial airline to an international destination for reasons other than business. This is a decrease of two percent when compared to the same period in 2001. Across the region, 75% of respondents visited one or more Asia/Pacific countries, 18% traveled to Europe, 13% visited North America and two percent made trips to the Middle East.

The top destinations visited for personal travels were Singapore (13%), Australia (12%), Thailand (12%), Hong Kong (11%), China (11%) and the United States (11%).

As in the 2001’s survey, almost twice as many travelers made trips alone (66%) rather than in groups (34%). Respondents from New Zealand (94%), Australia (89%), Korea (82%) and Singapore (81%) most preferred to travel alone.

Expectations on Future Personal Travels When asked about expectation on future personal trips for the next six months, 29% of respondents indicated that they anticipate an increase while 34% anticipated a decrease and 37% expected no change. Of the 13 countries surveyed, nine registered pessimistic sentiments about future trips.

India respondents were the most upbeat about future personal trips with 55% expecting an increase within the next six months. Similar expectations were evident among respondents from China (41%), Malaysia (35%) and Taiwan (29%). Respondents from the Philippines (32%), Japan (31%), Korea (27%), New Zealand (27%) and Thailand (25%) expected to make fewer personal trips.

Average Amount Spent on Personal Trips Across Asia/Pacific, 60% of travelers spent between US$1,001 to US$5,000 on each of their personal trips in the last six months of 2002, as compared to 64% for the same period in 2001, inclusive of airfare. Thirty five percent said they spent below US$1,000 and five percent spent over US$5,000.

Approximately 68% of Japanese, 67% of Koreans and 66% of Australians polled indicated that they spent between US$1,001 to US$5,000 on their personal trips. Respondents in Australia (16%) and Thailand (15%) registered the highest number of respondents who said that they spent over US$5,000 on personal travels.

-more- MasterCard International – Page 3
MasterCard Asian Lifestyles Survey Showed Decrease in Personal Travels in Asia/Pacific March 13, 2003 Favorite Airlines The most popular airlines for personal travels were shared among Singapore Airlines (11%), Cathay Pacific Airways (11%) and Thai Airways International (11%). Other favorite airlines included Qantas (nine percent), Malaysian Airline System (eight percent) and Japan Airlines (seven percent).

Online or Offline Booking
The Asian Lifestyles survey showed that majority of travelers still preferred the traditional way of conducting airline bookings via offline methods (e.g. using travel agents). Of the total respondents, 88% used traditional methods to organize their personal trips for the last half of 2002, this compared to 87% for the same period in 2001. The Japanese (45%), Korean (29%) and New Zealanders (19%) were most likely to use the Internet to book personal trips. Note to Editors
This news release is distributed in conjunction with a second release entitled “MasterCard Asian Lifestyles Survey Showed 74% of Business Trips Made Within the Region.”

About MasterCard International MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro. With approximately 25,000 MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro members worldwide, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. The MasterCard award-winning Pricelessâ advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 45 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. With more than 30 million acceptance locations, including over 820,000 MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs around the world, no payment card is more widely accepted globally than MasterCard. For the year ended December 31, 2002, gross dollar volume exceeded US$1.14 trillion.

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