Asia-Pacific is the most requested long-haul holiday region, according to research among agents by online training provider Travel Uni.

The company polled almost 400 travel agents for the first in its regular series of ‘Frontline Findings’ surveys.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, Indian Ocean and Africa was receiving the most enquiries, cited by 30%, followed by southeast Asia (23%); Australia and New Zealand (21%); the Indian subcontinent (8%); China, Japan and Korea (8%).

UK and European markets were receiving the most enquiries overall, while other long-haul regions highlighted include the Caribbean, North America and Middle East.

A third of those surveyed expect ‘international travel to pick up significantly’ from Q4 2021, with similar numbers expecting an uptick in Q1 2022.

More: Pata sets out likely trends for region in new report

Ian Dockreay, training spokesperson for the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata), commented: “Insights like these are of great interest to our members as they help shape training, sales and marketing plans and give reassurance that their destinations are in demand.”

The survey also highlighted the role that travel agents play in booking holidays.

Ranking client needs in order of importance, ‘reassurance’, ‘advice’ and ‘knowledge’ came ahead of ‘price’ and ‘availability’ as the key benefits that customers seek when using an agent.

Dockreay added: “This result clearly shows how much the public need travel agents’ expertise to guide them in their options and choices.

“With this in mind, training remains a core focus for Pata to help develop regional experts.”

The survey found that 91% of agents rated training as ‘very important’ in their ability to do their job well. Almost half (45%) of agents spend one-three hours a week and over a quarter (26%) three or more hours per week training online to ‘improve their knowledge’.

Matt McCausland, account director for Pata UK & Ireland, added: “Access to this data from the study reassures us, as an organisation, that our trade engagement strategy compliments the trade’s needs and delivers worthwhile events and training.

“Pata hosts over 30 different training events throughout the UK and Ireland annually and the number of events has increased substantially over the past five years in response to demand.

“This is set to continue with even more planned and, most excitingly, the return of live events later this year.”