Singapore millennials prefer direct flight bookings


MOST millennial travellers in Singapore favour booking flights via airline websites rather than from OTAs and metasearch engines, according to a recent study by travel intelligence provider Adara.

Adara’s data revealed that 56 per cent of its Singaporean respondents aged between 18 and 34 prefer direct booking channels when its comes to flights as opposed to only 34 per cent of their counterparts in the US indicating likewise.

But for hotel bookings, the reverse is true, with 67 per cent of them saying general travel websites are preferred. Only 19 per cent say they would rather book rooms directly.

Asked why this is so, Jonathan Hardy, vice president of sales at Adara, said: “When it comes to hotel bookings, millennials in Asia-Pacific value reviews and frequent sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp and Airbnb.

“In the case of flight bookings, they prefer to book directly with airline websites partially due to the availability of flights and destinations, (but especially because of) cost-sensitivity. A majority of the regional LCCs offer direct booking models to appeal to the budget conscious.”

In line with this finding, 82 per cent of Singaporean millennials in the study were found to prioritise price over airline brands when choosing which flight to take. Almost half of them further state that they don’t see the point of loyalty programmes.

This is because of their love to try out new things, according to Hardy. “Millennials take time to test out different brands, and make considered choices on what brands they prefer and suit their travel lifestyle,” he explained.

“Interestingly, over half of millennials in Singapore have a travel-related credit card, indicating that they still very much value loyalty, despite the young age,” he added.

The study also showed that millennial travellers in other Asia-Pacific countries such as Hong Kong and Australia have a significant preference for direct online channels with 45 per cent and 44 per cent expressing so respectively.

When asked if offline travel bookings are showing any signs of popularity among the millennial demographic, Hardy said that “online and mobile remains the priority”.

Still, not all is lost for those willing to better cater to their needs.

Said Hardy: “From our observations, the Singaporean millennial traveller often values experiential travel. They seek unique and rare encounters and this means investing a significant amount of time to plan elaborate itineraries drawn from both traditional and online sources.

“Over three in four Singaporean millennials prioritise travel over any other expenses. For travel brands who understand the value, they are able to capitalise on their willingness to spend and offer different services to fit different priorities.”

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