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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Sustainability peeking as top metric of SG travelers on accommodation choice: report

Singapore – Indeed, the gravity of the pandemic has prompted everyone to rethink the climate of everything we’ve come to identify as normal pre-covid, and even without a direct link, at the start of the spread of the virus, the conversation, specifically on sustainability and the health of the environment, has become even louder. 

The most prominent being is how people are theorizing that the halted operations of businesses are what will lead to a drastic reduction in carbon footprint. Interestingly, a new study by booking platform Booking.com is showing that the pandemic has become an influence for people to travel more sustainably in the future. 

According to the latest study, 70% of Singaporeans stated that the pandemic has encouraged them to be even more environment-conscious when traveling. The study finds that in general, people are expressing pressing concern over the environment with 74% of Singaporean travelers believing that people have to act now to save the planet for future generations

Based on the study, Singaporean travelers are determined to extend their daily sustainable commitments, such as reducing general waste and energy consumption, when making their travels. When traveling, about 83% eyes minimizing general waste, with 81% wanting to lessen their energy consumption such as turning off air conditioning and lights when they are not in a room. Meanwhile, a good percentage – 77% – are also willing to look to more environment-friendly modes of transport such as walking, cycling or public transport over taxis or rental cars when traveling. 

The study found that Singaporeans’ desire to take part in the sustainability movement is not only as good as a pledge, with data showing that people are starting to get on the act, and are staying true to their word. 

About 47% of Singaporean travelers revealed that while on vacation in the past 12 months, they have made the conscious decision of turning off their air conditioning or heater in their accommodation when they weren’t there. Meanwhile, 43% of travelers within the same period took their own reusable water bottle, rather than buying bottled water while on vacation, while 30% stated that they did activities to support the local community. 

Truly, sustainable living is becoming a lifestyle commitment, with people bringing their conscious habits outside their homes. This behavior has also become apparent with how people are viewing accommodations. 

The study reported that over half, or 55%, have admitted that they get annoyed if somewhere they are staying stops them from being sustainable, for example, by not offering recycling facilities. A vast majority – 90% – of Singaporean travelers have also expressed desire in staying in sustainable accommodation in the upcoming year, with 59% still believing that in 2021, there simply aren’t enough sustainable travel options available. 

In fact, 77% of Singaporean travelers would be more likely to choose an accommodation if it has implemented sustainability practices, with a similar amount, 75%, thinking travel companies should offer more sustainable choices. 

This comes as a valuable insight for hospitality companies, tourist spots, and travel accommodations as travelers, specifically the Singapore market, are using sustainability as a metric of whether a certain place is worth staying in. Such finding is proving its importance even more as nations are prepping up to ease travel restrictions. 

Nuno Guerreiro, regional director of Booking.com for South Asia, Oceania & Chains, said that the time is ripe for the industry to rebuild with a renewed focus on sustainability, as seen with recent efforts by Singapore to boost its transformation into a sustainable destination.

Singapore is a country that has been doubling down on its efforts on sustainable tourism, announcing in April its allocation of S$68.5m into its Tourism Development Fund for travel businesses looking to test-bed sustainable tourism offerings. 

“Despite travel being on a pause across most Asia-Pacific countries, it’s been inspiring to see awareness of the importance of sustainable travel consistently grow,“ Guerreiro said. 

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Optimism on the rise among Singaporean travelers on travel resumption: report

Singapore – Despite current travel restriction implementations brought by national governments to combat COVID-19, a large majority of Singaporeans are optimistic that travel restrictions will be lifted soon, and that travel will resume, new statistics from a report by booking platform Booking.com shows.

According to the research, seven in ten Singaporean travelers (71%) feel more hopeful about traveling in 2021 due to the unwavering commitment of the scientific and medical communities and the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, and potential air travel bubble developments. The same amount (70%) states that not being able to travel extensively in 2020 has made them yearn for travel even more in 2021. 

Part of the growing optimism among Singaporeans can be attributed to the current rollout of vaccines in the country, as the research shows that slightly over half (63%) of Singaporean travelers state that they won’t travel internationally until they have been vaccinated, which rises to 69% among those 55 years old and above, while a greater amount (67%) of Singaporean travelers showing willingness to travel only to countries that have implemented vaccination programs. But there still is some hesitation, with almost half (52%) remaining skeptical as to whether a vaccine will truly help make travel safer. 

Despite feeling mostly optimistic, travelers all around the world acknowledge that not being able to travel in 2020 as they used to in previous years has had a significant effect on their well-being, with over half (52%) of Singaporean travelers reporting a negative impact on their mental health and 47% stating they have felt imprisoned in their own home due to travel restrictions.

Around 65% of Singaporean travelers also say travel is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic. So much so that almost two thirds (65%) of Singaporean travelers would even go so far as stating that they would rather go on a vacation in 2021 than find true love. Meanwhile, 59% would prioritize traveling over success at work, preferring to go on vacation than getting promoted.

Meanwhile, six in ten (62%) Singaporean travelers have used the increased time at home to plan future travel while slightly over half (54%) banking more vacation days, feeling excited about the potential of taking longer vacations in 2021. When dreaming about their next vacation, 51% of Singaporean travelers feel confident that they’ll be able to hit the beach by summer 2021, and 18% say a relaxing beach or spa trip will be the first type of trip when it’s safe to do so. After an exhausting year, only 9% will book a city break and just 5% say an active break is a priority.

Following the impact that COVID-19 has had on the travel industry, 96% of Singaporean travelers think the industry needs to be supported to get back on its feet. Nearly three quarters (74%) believe that government financial stimuli are now needed to help travel’s recovery and over two thirds (69%) worry that the industry won’t survive unless it is supported with government grants. 

In terms of more practical regulations, 75% state that wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing is needed, and 73% say that governments should collaborate with travel associations and providers to set more consistent standards.

According to Nuno Guerreiro, regional director for South Asia, Oceania, and Chains at Booking.com, the company remains firmly committed to supporting everyone on their journey to getting back to travel, as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“We have grown over the past year navigating the pandemic, as our consumers have too, and we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to experience the world together again soon as we work together with all those in the travel industry to ensure its recovery,” Guerreiro stated.

He added, “With our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, when the time is right to discover the places, cultures and experiences we’ve all been dreaming of, we will make sure you can find them on Booking.com.”