Singapore hailed as top choice for post-pandemic travel
More than half of locals believe that the Lion City is well-prepared to reopen tourism activities.
Singapore is at the top of the list of travel destinations for most Asian travellers, particularly for those living in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the Philippines when it comes post-lockdown travel, according to a survey by Blackbox Research, Dynata and Language Connect.
These countries also have considerable pent-up demand for travel. Out of the five, Indians are the most eager to travel internationally in the next 12 months (77%), followed by Thais (70%), Indonesians (60%), Hong Kongers (47%), and Filipinos (46%).
On the other hand, the study also found that Singaporeans are keen for the local travel industry to find its footing again. About 93% of locals recognise that tourism is a major industry and contributor to the local economy, with more than half (67%) believing that the country is well-prepared to reopen tourism and leisure activities.
More than half are also comfortable with tourism boards, including their own, promoting their countries amidst a pandemic (57%).
“People across Asia have the most pent-up demand to travel, and Singapore is well-placed to tap into that opportunity given its strategic location as the region’s travel hub. As Asia’s business hub as well, Singapore’s immediate focus on appealing to business travellers by working to establish green lane arrangements with a number of countries will help kickstart the industry,” said Saurabh Sardana, chief operating officer at Blackbox Research.
However, the study revealed that one in five will look to avoid business travel in the next 12 months, which spells a challenge for Singapore’s plans to progressively resume essential business travel for executives. Sardana noted that even as both regional interest and citizen sentiment towards restarting local tourism have been encouraging, establishing traveller’s trust in health and safety protocols are key.
Singapore also has strong domestic appeal, with 78% of Singaporeans keen to support local travel attractions in the next 12 months.
“Despite being a small island state that does not offer locals different states and regions to explore, our survey demonstrated that Singaporeans’ impression of domestic travel is still relatively robust. Singapore is committed to appeal to local consumers, as demonstrated by its $45 million SingapoRediscovers campaign, and its offerings are also well-placed to capture the domestic market,” Sardana added.
Globally, the survey shows that international leisure travel in the short term is off the table for most people, with 44% of respondents still keen to avoid international vacations. Notably, Japanese (32%), Filipinos (42%), and New Zealanders (43%) and Australians (52%) are least eager to take long-haul trips.
Further, 80% of respondents stated that they are willing to pay more for safer accommodation, and 74% are open to paying a higher premium for travel insurance in exchange for protection against pandemic.
In terms of what the future of travel looks like, e-boarding passes (44%), touchless lavatories (43%), contactless journeys from airports to hotels (40%), no more middle seats in transportation (36%), and digital health passports (35%) are some of the new ideas which global travellers hope to see implemented in the near future.