Fewer people on the mainland are worried about the impact of economic uncertainty on their travel plans, according to a recent survey. Over half of the respondents in a survey by Visa and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) say they do not believe economic factors will disrupt their travel plans compared with only 36 per cent last year. Sunny Cheung, Visa's country manager for Hong Kong and Macau, says: 'Last year's survey [showed] travel plans were being scaled back or postponed. 'This year, the improvement in consumer optimism is sure to be welcome news for all tourism operators as they look to attract people to the Asia-Pacific region.' Optimism is highest in Japan where only 45 per cent of respondents said they would change their travel plans due to economic uncertainty compared with 78 per cent a year earlier. The mainland is poised to become the largest source of outbound travel to Asia-Pacific destinations over the next few years, with findings indicating that mainlanders plan to travel more than other Chinese travellers. On average, mainlanders surveyed plan to make an average of 7.4 business and leisure trips over the next two years compared with 5.6 for Hongkongers and 4.5 for Taiwanese travellers. The survey also shows a strong intra-regional travel preference among Chinese travellers. Over the next two years, Hong Kong will remain one of the top destinations for mainlanders and Taiwanese travellers. Likewise, the mainland is the destination of choice for respondents from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Australia and Japan are also popular among Chinese travellers. John Koldowski, Pata's deputy CEO, says: 'The insights from the Visa Travel Intentions survey are useful to the whole industry in formulating strategies for sustainable growth. For instance, the survey tells us that countries in the Asia-Pacific region will remain the top travel destinations for mainland visitors over the next two years. 'That, coupled with the fact that mainlanders became the world's fourth-biggest tourism spenders last year, indicates that we must adapt to the needs of the growing number of affluent mainlanders who have the discretionary spending power for leisure travel.' The survey also found subtle differences in the preferences of Chinese travellers, with natural scenery being the top attraction for mainlanders and Taiwanese travellers, while Hongkongers rate local cuisine. Meanwhile, mainland travellers prefer environmentally friendly tourism and cultural-immersion programmes, while all Chinese travellers are willing to pay more for exotic destinations, good food and cultural experiences. The internet is an indispensable resource for holiday planning, with mainlanders leading the trend, as almost 80 per cent of them go online for travel information.