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Asean Affairs   June 25, 2014

Over three in four in Singapore plan their leisure trips less than a month in advance: GfK

Online research and word of mouth are most used resources; Southeast Asian countries are most popular destinations

SINGAPORE, 23 June 2014 – Travel is becoming an increasingly important sector for the small and affluent country of Singapore as frequency of outbound trips by air made by consumers here have been rising over the years. A recent GfK study revealed that around 76 percent have been made by travelers no more than a month ahead of the actual travel date—with the 26 – 35 year old segment making up the most dominant (45%) short term group of travelers.

While such short-term planners dominate the travel market, there are also those who carefully plan and book their trips over a period of more than six months. Around 1 in 10 travelers in the country belong in this category of long-term planners, leaving the remaining 14 percent of them representing the mid-term planners or those who spend 2-6 months preparing for their trip.

“The high incidence of trips being booked within a few weeks of travel is likely due to the availability of discounted airfare for last minute flights by airlines, which are increasingly common nowadays,” observed Laurens van den Oever, Global Travel Director at GfK. “Such promotions are often quickly snapped up by holiday-seekers, especially those who are familiar with the destinations for free and easy leisure travel for weekends or during public holidays.”

The GfK Consumer Travel Tracker research was conducted in Singapore in April – May 2014. The study is based on tracked outbound travel data from the pre-booking to actual booking and transaction stage and conducted among 500 respondents who have made a travel booking in the last 3 months.

In the highly connected Singapore society, it is not surprising that the internet is the most sought after platform to gather required information. Four in five (80%) do their travel research online while the next popular method is by talking to personal contacts such as friends, relatives and colleagues (40%). Other less common mentions are travel agency (20%), travel fair (20%) and articles in newspapers (20%).

In spite of the heavy reliance on online platforms, offline resources also play a significant role in influencing travelers‘ choices. While 1 in 3 (33%) rely solely on internet research, 17 percent said they only utilise offline methods, while half of all respondents use both.

“Traditional brick-and-mortar travel agents remain popular for travel packages to other regions apart from Asia and Europe, as confirmed by a small group of less than a third of respondents,” said van den Oever. “Our findings showed that consumers are more inclined to receiving assistance for their bookings and planning from the agencies when traveling to unfamiliar regions as this provides some level of assurance.”

The survey also asked travelers about their chosen destinations and duration of stay. South East Asia is the favorite travel region with Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia being the top choices, followed by Greater China.

“The preference for these SEA countries is likely because of their position amongst the major nations in ASEAN,” commented van den Oever. “However, as these destinations become overly familiar in the future, it is highly possible that Singaporeans may turn to others such as Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia for new experiences,” he concluded.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s 80 years of data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

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