Ever since COVID-19 brought international travel to a near standstill, vacations to foreign destinations have been the subject of intense nostalgia among Singaporeans.
It is perhaps with little surprise that Singapore emerged as the most vacation deprived country in the world alongside Italy, in the latest edition of Expedia’s annual Vacation Deprivation Study which surveyed 9,200 consumers in 16 markets globally, including 300 in Singapore.
Vacation Deprivation Study
71% of the respondents in Singapore and Italy said they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ vacation deprived, making them the most vacation-deprived countries in the world.
Compared to the 67% year before, this year’s findings indicate that Singaporeans could be reeling from the effects of not being able to travel.
Of the Singaporeans surveyed, those aged 18-34 were found to be the most vacation deprived group, with 85% identifying with vacation deprivation. This was followed by those in the 35-49 age range (68%), and those aged above 50 (51%). Interestingly, respondents who reside in the east of Singapore also appear to be more vacation deprived (77%) than those residing in the west (69%).
Singaporeans also expressed a greater longing for the return to travel more than anyone else in the world.
- 90% said that they now value vacations more than ever before.
- 87% believe that travel can help to create important memories and be one of the best things to come out of COVID-19.
- 67% reported that their employees have been supportive of them taking vacation time.
Saving Big for the Next Trip
Singaporeans are also getting ready to fulfill their pent-up travel desires by splurging on vacations once it becomes safe to do so.
- 62% intend to spend more on their bucket list vacation than originally planned.
- 67% said their travel bucket list budget for 2021 has increased because of the pandemic.
- Only 18% of Singaporeans have booked travel for 2021.
- 44% said that future travel planning will highly depend on the success of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- 39% said they are waiting until the latter half of 2021 to travel.
Travel in the New Normal
Travel in the ‘new normal’ will require a significant mental and emotional shift. At the same time, travel booking behaviours have also evolved in response to the recent developments that have influenced their decision-making criteria.
Refundable travel options have become a pre-requisite for many travellers:
- 33% said they will only book travel that is fully refundable in case they don’t feel comfortable travelling.
- 21% said that they intend to book last-minute travel when they know that it is safe to do so.
- 20% said they only plan to travel to places where they can remain socially distant from others.
To round it up, Singaporeans continue to show strong interest in travel. Searches for international destinations on Expedia have increased in recent months, with Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Maldives, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Bali, London and Ho Chi Minh City making up the top destinations that Singaporeans are looking to travel to in 2021.