S’pore sees pent-up demand for travel

Travel, Transportation concept - Airplane flying over Singapore city in morning time

The wanderlust spirit is well and alive among Singaporeans, with majority having plans to travel this year once travel restrictions lift, according to a survey by Singapore’s mobile wallet operator YouTrip.

The Travel Intent Survey, which polled 6,000 Singaporeans, found that slightly more than half of the respondents (54 per cent) have plans to travel in 2020 as soon as travel restrictions lift. Of that number, millennial travellers aged 25 to 34 are the most adventurous (35 per cent). Comparatively, only 22 per cent of travellers aged 35 to 44, and 11 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 expect to travel within the year.

Demand for travel remains resilient in face of pandemic, with 7 in 10 Singaporeans desiring to travel in 2020, once border regulations eases: YouTrip survey

Caecilia Chu, co-founder and CEO of YouTrip said: “It’s encouraging to see signs of travel recovering after months of pent-up demand. Within our community of users, many of them are avid travellers who I believe will be amongst the first movers for the initial travel recovery.”

Popular countries like Japan (23 per cent), Thailand (12 per cent), and Malaysia (11 per cent) remain top choices for Singaporeans, followed by Australia (eight per cent), South Korea (seven per cent), Taiwan (six per cent), mainland China (five per cent), New Zealand (four per cent), Indonesia (four per cent), and Vietnam (two per cent).

As for Covid-19 hotspot countries, 25 per cent more Singaporeans are willing to travel there in 1H2021 (40 per cent) as compared to 2020 (15 per cent), signalling a gradual recovery of tourism in the most affected countries.

As an indicator of the pent-up demand for travel, 85 per cent of Singaporeans are prepared to spend more on their next holiday. Four in 10 Singaporeans are willing to budget 30 per cent or more for their upcoming travel plans to make up for cancelled trips.

IATA’s chief economist, Brian Pearce, estimated that flight tickets will cost 43 per cent to 54 per cent higher than previous prices due to in-flight social distancing policies. Even though Singaporeans have expressed their enthusiasm for their next holiday, most of them are value-driven when it comes to transport expenses. Some 72 per cent of respondents said they will be deterred by higher flight ticket prices and would wait for promotional prices before making their travel plans.

This is echoed in 58 per cent of respondents stating that promotional prices will entice them to resume travelling in 2020, further suggesting that Singaporeans are value-driven. “Pay Now, Travel Later” promotions seem to be a viable option for Singaporeans, with more than 70 per cent indicating that they will be keen to purchase if the discounts are at least half-priced or more. Other factors that could influence their purchase include the flexibility of stay and eligibility for full refunds.

In view of cancelled travel plans in 2020, 28 per cent of respondents stated that they’ll be saving the money instead. Local staycations (15 per cent), shopping (14 per cent), and visiting local tourist attractions (five per cent) are among alternative options for Singaporeans.

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