Bankbazaar.sg, Singapore - December 26, 2017
SINGAPORE - The Christmas and New Year holidays fall close to weekends this year, just as they did in 2016. But more Singaporeans are making the most of the extended weekend with overseas trips this year compared to last.
Their destinations are also more diverse this time compared to 2016. The reasons for this could include more convenient travel options, increased wealth, and aggressive marketing strategies from tourism destinations.
Dynasty Travel has seen a 10% spike in the number of visitors to Japan, according to the Straits Times (ST). The company’s marketing communications director Alicia Seah indicated this could be due to the increased numbers of direct flights between the two countries.
Chan Brothers Travels has a similar story. Justine Koh, Chan Brothers Travels’ marketing communication executive, who spoke to the newspaper, said the number of Europe-bound travellers and those to watch the Northern Lights this December has doubled over the same period in the previous year. Australia is also an attractive destination for Singaporeans.
A Credit Suisse report published earlier this year had said that the household wealth in Singapore had grown 3.4% by the middle of 2017. Such a rise inevitably increases the amount of expendable income at disposal and this could be another factor encouraging travellers this year.
According to Koh, even the number of travellers to less popular destinations such as Bhutan, Egypt, Turkey, and Dubai have jumped three or four times. Significantly, the increased demand is felt not just by the large travel outfits but also by smaller companies.
Lim Hui Juan, one of the founders of the Quotient TravelPlanner reported a 45% increase in overseas travellers over the same period in 2016, with some of them travelling as far as South Africa and the US. Brand Expedia has had more customers seeking shorter trips to places such as Malaysia and the Philippines.
Singaporean’s increased interest in travel had even prompted several high-end foreign travel companies to enter the local market recently with promises of exclusive experiences. The UK-based boutique travel agency Jacada Travels, for instance, is reportedly targeting rich Singapore citizens with hand-picked activities such as driving a luxury sports car across an icy lake in Finland.
It’s not just travel companies and airlines that are profiting from this growth in travellers. Customers are increasingly becoming aware of travel-related uncertainties and this means more potential demand for travel insurance policies.