Singapore tops travel destination list for tourists in Asia when borders reopen

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
The elevated OCBC Skyway through the Supertrees at the Gardens by the Bay. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
The elevated OCBC Skyway through the Supertrees at the Gardens by the Bay. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Singapore has topped the list of travel destinations for people living in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines when it comes post-lockdown travel, according to a new global study released today (5 August).

Out of the five countries, Indians are the most eager to travel internationally in the next 12 months (77 per cent), followed by Thais (70 per cent), Indonesians (60 per cent), Hong Kongers (47 per cent), and Filipinos (46 per cent).

Jointly conducted by social research agency Blackbox Research, data provider Dynata, and language partner Language Connect, the survey — titled “Unravel Travel: Fear & Possibilities in a Post Coronavirus (COVID-19) World” — examines the sentiments, preferences, and expectations of 10,195 people from 17 countries regarding travel in a post-COVID-19 world.

The study also found that Singaporeans are keen for the local travel industry to find its footing again. An overwhelming 93 per cent of Singaporeans recognise that tourism is a major industry and contributor to the local economy, with more than two-thirds (67 per cent) 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 per cent).

On a more global level, the study revealed that one in every five people will look to avoid business travel in the next 12 months.

Saurabh Sardana, Blackbox Research’s chief operation officer, said that both regional interest and citizen sentiment towards restarting local tourism have been encouraging, but establishing travellers’ trust in health and safety protocols is key.

“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.

“However, with concerns on health and safety as well as the increasing prevalence of digital tools replacing in-person business meetings, our study found that a significant percentage of people globally are deterred from business travel,” said Mr Sardana.

However, domestic appeal is strong, with 78 per cent of Singaporeans keen to support local travel attractions in the next 12 months. Mr Sardana said, “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 S$45 million SingapoRediscovers campaign, and its offerings are also well-placed to capture the domestic market.

In terms of what the future of travel looks like, the study found that e-boarding passes (44 per cent), touchless lavatories (43 per cent), contactless journeys from airports to hotels (40 per cent), no more middle seats in transportation (36 per cent), and digital health passports (35 per cent) are some of the new ideas that global travellers hope to see implemented in the near future.

Unravel Travel factsheet
Unravel Travel factsheet