CHARITY starts at home for Singaporeans travellers, with more than half saying they would prefer to stay within Asia when going for volunteer trips abroad, said a survey.
Zuji’s Giving Back is the New Black study polled 855 Singapore-based travellers and found that 60 per cent of respondents would travel for a cause to Asia as compared to the four per cent willing to go to South America, the least popular region likely owing to its distance from home and unfamiliarity.
Nearly half of the respondents preferred to teach underprivileged kids when volunteering overseas; 27 per cent preferred building and restoring communities; while 17 per cent were motivated by wildlife conservation and 11 per cent went overseas for mission trips.
Before volunteering abroad, 65 per cent of respondents research destinations and causes through content sites, and Zuji has observed the growth in interest in destinations like Yangon and Auckland.
For accommodation, Zuji hotel booking data revealed that 63 per cent of Singapore-based travellers opt for at least four-star accommodation. However, on volunteer trips, 86 per cent are willing to stay in budget hotels and hostels.
Thirty-seven per cent of participants felt that helping the underprivileged overseas is best enjoyed with a group of friends, while a third felt that it did not matter who they travel with as the trip serves a bigger purpose. Despite that, 60 per cent of Zuji bookings show that people are solo travellers.
Chua Hui Wan, CEO for Zuji Singapore, said: “We are witnessing more people travelling to developing countries, with Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines featuring among our top 20 booking destinations.
“With the strong number of long weekends in 2015, it’s the opportune time to jet-set for a few days, see a new place, but also give back.”