Singapore outbound on a slow rebound

SINGAPORE outbound travel agents are adopting an optimistic but cautious stance as the local outbound market shows signs of revival.

Agencies previously reported that outbound travel from Singapore was muted in the first half of 2011, as uncertainty brought on by the string of regional disasters and the general election kept Singaporeans firmly at home (TTG Asia e-daily, July 4).

Stella Chow, manager advertising and marketing division, outbound tour department, Hong Thai Travel Services, said the outbound market was picking up, but had yet to make a full recovery.

According to Chow, all segments are seeing marginal growth, with longhaul destinations in Europe and the US posting better gains than short or mediumhaul destinations.

Most agencies TTG Asia e-daily spoke to were adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude on promotions and marketing campaigns to bolster sales.

A spokesperson for SA Tours, Eva Wu, said: “We are optimistic about the prospects for the Singapore outbound market, but we have to be realistic at the same time.”

“The market is still reeling from the after-effects of the Japan disaster and other shocks. We do not expect the market to be as buoyant as it was last year.”

Nonetheless, the outlook is decidedly rosy for at least for one player in the market.

ASA Travel’s head of marketing and communications, Eileen Oh, is looking forward to a “good showing at the upcoming NATAS fair” in view of the performance of its pre-NATAS sales event last weekend.

“Our takings for the fair last weekend hit a five-year record. We generated in one day the revenue it took us two days to earn the year before,” she said. “There is certainly a lot of pent-up demand.”

– Read more in TTG Asia, August 5 issue

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