With seven long weekends in 2017, travel agents have noticed that Singaporeans are planning their trips in advance, especially for Asian destinations.
Communications director for TripAdvisor, Asia-Pacific, Janice Lee Fang, revealed the top destination searches by Singaporeans for the upcoming long weekends.
“(They) are keen on hubs like Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul. They love shopping and eating, and these cities offer plenty of both, whether they are on a budget or if they want a more premium experience,” commented Lee.
Not wanting to miss out, travel agents are doing their part to encourage advanced bookings.
Fayyaz Travels has partnered with credit card companies to offer discounts and free gifts, while Chan Brothers Travel introduced semi tours last year and are planning to include more destinations in the series to appeal to economical customers.
Fayyaz Travels’ managing director, Muhammad Fayyaz Butt, said his company has seen 30 per cent more bookings and enquiries for the long weekends as compared to normal weekends.
“The demand has been quite high with most people already planning their trips for the second and third long weekends (Chinese New Year in February, and Good Friday in April) of the year. I think the extra day with the weekend is the difference between people travelling overseas and staying in Singapore,” he told TTG Asia.
According to Chan Brothers Travel’s spokesperson Joyce Tan, long weekends routinely see at least 50 per cent more travellers than regular weekends, with bookings for the 2017 Good Friday weekend flooding in since last September.
Lee added that while the dismal economy might have an effect on travel decisions, Singaporeans are usually adaptable and are “spoilt for choice when it comes to destinations they have access to, and some of these can be visited at very little cost relative to the Singapore dollar”.
Similarly, Muhammad is optimistic that the demand for regional travels over the long weekends will counter the lacklustre economy. He expects a 10 to 15 per cent increase in total bookings for his company compared to 2016.