Singapore – Due to concerns about inflation and rising costs, travel and leisure e-commerce platform Klook’s new survey results have unveiled that four out of five travellers (77%) in Asia are anxious about travelling next year.

However, despite these concerns, 81% of the respondents still plan to travel, with one-third of them wanting to make two to four trips in 2023. Meanwhile, 92% of travellers in Singapore are likewise eager to travel.

The study also revealed that 63% of travellers in Asia are worried about the increasing travel prices, with Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan travellers ranking the highest for cost as a concern. Amidst this, 80% are still planning to spend the same or more on travel. 

Moreover, Singaporeans are among the most excited to travel despite their worries, with 40% intending to spend more on travel in 2023. Meanwhile, concerns around COVID-19 still stand, with 39% worried about catching the virus while on holiday. 

It also found that despite the anxiety over the global recession, Asians are still not giving up on travel as 35% of the respondents plan to opt for a nearer destination or travel during off-peak seasons, while 34% are willing to cut back on other expenses in order to save more for travel.

Marcus Yong, vice president for global marketing at Klook, predicts travellers will remain resilient against all odds in 2023. “After two years of being grounded, travel is now an experience that people treasure more than ever before, and this is clear from our survey data.”

He added, “Although travel behavior and attitudes have evolved in the past few years, we still see that travelers are ready to adapt and determined to travel no matter what it takes in search of the joys and rewards of travel.”

Yong also mentioned that 2023 is the year of ‘Travelsilience’, which stands for travel and resilience. This means that travellers pursue travel to create new experiences despite all struggles and hindrances.

The survey was conducted in November 2022 via Stickybeak, drawing 902 respondents across nine markets including Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and Korea.

Klook has previously partnered digital travel agency to enable travellers to access Klook attractions directly on the latter’s platform.

Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesia is fastly moving towards being a growing mobile market globally, with the latest data from app analytics company unveiling that Indonesians have spent 156 billion hours on mobile during 2021. In addition, the report also noted that new app downloads in Indonesia surpassed 7.3 billion in 2021, a 33% increase from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Total time spent among the top 20 video streaming apps surpassed 27 billion hours in Indonesia, up by 93% since 2019, the highest percent increase among all markets analysed and nearly three times the growth rate worldwide. Top apps included global brands such as YouTube, MX Player, Netflix, YouTube Kids and Viu. And for Indonesia-based Vidio, time spent surpassed 174 million hours, landing it at number 8 in 2021.

In addition, shopping apps were another category that saw tremendous growth in total time spent in Indonesia. Since 2019, time spent on retail apps rose from 2 billion to nearly 5.6 billion in 2021, a 180% increase. The pandemic accelerated the momentum as the 2-year growth rate for Indonesia was the 6th highest in the world. In fact, even compared to 2020, time spent in retail apps in Indonesia saw a 52% increase YoY — growing 2.9x faster than the global market at 18% YoY. 

“It is clear that Indonesia is a rapidly growing retail market, and publishers should take note of consumer trends, demographic preferences and cultural differences to succeed in this mobile-first market,” the company said in a press statement.

The report noted that the top 4 shopping apps by breakout downloads in Indonesia, namely Akulaku, MyPoin, Tokopedia and Mitra Bukalapak were all homegrown apps, signalling a potential opportunity for local app publishers as well as marketers looking to craft campaigns and partnerships relevant to their local audience.

Sydney, Australia – Despite the greater existence of other media channels, radio stations located across metropolitan areas in Australia have shown a 72.6% increase in their ad revenue last May, amounting to AU$59.6m compared to AU$34.5m last year, new findings from Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and Deloitte shows.

According to the data, the state of Victoria, the largest radio market, was up by 74.5% to AU$20m compared to the same period a year ago, while New South Wales stations enjoyed a 71.2% increase to AU$17.7m. Queensland stations rose 77.6% to AU$9m, Western Australia was up 73.2% to AU$7.5m and South Australia climbed 62.1% to AU$5.5m. 

The results follow a 51.9% year on year increase in ad revenue in the month of April to AU$51.6m.

The metropolitan revenue figures compiled by Deloitte report on revenue received by metropolitan commercial radio stations in the five major capital city markets and include agency and direct ad revenue.

The rise reflects a strong rebound for radio from the depths of the COVID-19 slump, as advertisers returned to the market.

This statement is backed by Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA, who stated that it is enormously encouraging to see advertisers returning to radio in full force after a challenging 12 months.

“The industry is seeing robust activity from national advertisers and we anticipate the recovery in the SME market will continue to build in the coming months and into the busy Christmas season,” Warner stated.

She added, “Most major advertiser categories have recovered well and it is expected that with the new fiscal year, a fresh investment cycle is highly likely.”

Manila, Philippines – With the taboo belief of consuming alcohol and tobacco products now vanishing due to the open acceptance in our modern society, the alcohol and tobacco industry has since thrived in the Philippine market, as media intelligence company Isentia notes in its latest report how the so-called ‘sin’ products are perceived in the social media space.

In the bigger realm of the alcohol scene, recent buzz about alcohol drinks can be attributed to the rise of brand endorsements represented by K-pop artists and K-drama personalities. For instance, when South Korean beer brand Kloud Beer announced that K-pop boy band BTS were to represent the Lotte Chilsung-affiliated brand, Filipino ‘ARMYs’ or BTS fans took to social media to express anticipation for the announcement.

Isentia notes that a total of 1,761 social buzz was recorded on 15 April, the day the brand ambassadors were announced, and a total of 1,362 social buzz on 23 April when Kloud Beer released a short promotional video showing all of the members of BTS.

Social buzz pertains to the keyword or ‘trend’ frequently mentioned by social media users in a day. The social buzz used by Isentia are based on their existing Isentia Workspace, as well as Google Trends statistics.

Aside from garnering a high traction in April, the keywords ‘chicken and beer’ also dominated the social media space, possibly attributed to the well-known chicken combination of ‘chimaek’ which is a colloquial word of chicken and ‘maekju’ (beer in Korean).

“Considering the current health crisis and the rapid changes in consumer behavior specific to the industry, it is important now more than ever to not just be aware but have the numbers to back decision-making in communicating brand messages and fortifying the brand-to-audience relationship. It is not enough to know the issues. Knowledge gained from observing buzz peaks, determining breakout conversations, and deciphering social trends equips brands with data they can use to maximize media space they exist in,” Marla Edullantes, senior insights analyst at Isentia Philippines, said.

Veering away from the K-pop spotlight, local alcohol brand giant in the Philippines San Miguel Corporation (SMC) also gained positive traction this April following its recent CSR initiative on funding the historic cleanup of the Pasig River, a well-known river in Metro Manila. Said initiative gained praise from netizens, with some users even jokingly saying that they will support SMC’s positive efforts by ‘buying and consuming beer’, as well as ‘buying all of their available products’.

Despite these ‘glowing’ notes, the alcohol industry is also a facet for backlash among Filipino netizens.

One notable case was a community pantry located in Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila that gave soju, a popular Korean alcoholic drink, as part of what people can get for free. The negative flak was heightened due to the fact that the initiative was set by the ‘Sangguniang Kabataan, a local equivalent of a youth-oriented civil organization. According to the netizens, despite the heightened popularity of ‘soju’ due to prominence in K-drama shows, there is still a line as to who the target audience be, and it makes sense that youth members are still not allowed based on age restrictions.

Another notable case is the sentiment shared by Brett Tolhurs, president of the Wine Depot, who commented that Filipinos are not drinking the right wine pairing for the tropical season. His suggestion of pairing ‘lechon’, a well-known Filipino delicacy of slow-roasted pork, to be paired with rose wine, was met negatively by Filipinos, criticizing him for his lack of awareness on the Filipino pairing scene.

“What brands can leverage from this is that spokespersons should be able to balance commentaries without coming out with sweeping generalizations that could trigger netizens to veer away from product consumption and instead focus on personalities representing the brand. By mining data-driven insights, brands should be looking at not only how positive or negative the discussions are, but also the manner how their audiences engage with them and their stakeholders,” Isentia said in a press statement.

For cigarettes, there was a notable theme from consumers that smoking after intercourse is something that they do. This sharing of behaviors and experiences is something alcohol and tobacco industry players could look into in terms of user-generated content to bolster ideas in content marketing, advertisements, and promotional sales.

Another pairing people mentioned by netizens is no surprise: cigarettes and coffee. Similarly, these suggestions can open doors to co-branding that could benefit both brands from different industries.

“It is vital for brands to have a good grasp of the trends and consumer behavior in their industry. Given the alcohol and tobacco brands’ defined customer base, looking into the digital public’s organic conversations relating specifically to their industry may cull out fresh and data-driven ideas that will help in deciding how to improve the brand’s appeal to their intended audience,” said Kate Dudang, insights manager at Isentia Philippines.

Australia – In celebration of International Cannabis Culture Day, or more commonly known as ‘4-20’, Mediabrands’ culturally-driven media agency Initiative in Australia has launched a deep-dive study called ‘Cannabusiness’, which aims to analyze the emergence of a massive industry in legal cannabis across the country and its opportunities for marketers.

‘Cannabusiness’ is part of the media agency’s ‘Culture Shock’ series of investigative research into how developments in culture impact marketing and media investment decisions. In line with this, Initiative has launched a ‘Cannabusiness’ website and will be holding a public, live-panel discussion in May, to be hosted by Sam Geer, the managing director of Initiative Australia. The panel will examine the rising cultural re-acceptance of cannabis and what marketers can learn from this shift and apply it to their own brands to help power business growth.

According to Initiative, about 42% of Australians support the legalization of recreational cannabis, and between 20 to 40 companies are already listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to help manage investment in the industry.

Geer shared that they are approaching a rare phenomenon in Australian marketing – the birth of a new category. As Australia is one of the fastest-growing medical cannabis markets in the world and the 5th largest in size, he believes that it’s time to start paying attention.

“Positive interest in legislation to legalize cannabis demands a massive shift in culture in this country after decades of negative personal and political connotations. But the industry is an approaching powerhouse, with global estimates that Cannabis will be a $104 billion market by 2024,” said Geer.

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 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, 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”

Manila, Philippines – Top technology-related unboxing and review YouTube channels in the Philippines are seen to be able to earn a YouTuber on average ₱522K per month, new statistics from e-commerce aggregator iPrice.

Individual tech vloggers Unbox Diaries and Mary Bautista earn ₱522K and ₱351K per month respectively, despite the fact that Unbox Diaries has fewer subscribers (1.25M) than Bautista (1.42M).

Meanwhile, tech blogs like YugaTech and GadgetMatch earn less compared to individual creators, as these competitor sites earned ₱119K and ₱65K per month respectively. However, this is best supported by the smaller subscriber size they have, as YugaTech has only 453K subscribers, while GadgetMatch has 631K subscribers.

Moreover, individual vloggers like Liz Tech and Poy Reviews are both estimated to earn above ₱100K a month, which are more than the estimated amount of authoritative blogs with Youtube reviews like Unbox PH (₱52K/month) and Manila Shaker (₱17K/month).

“iPrice hypothesizes that consumers like watching content that is more personal and relatable. Thus, this is why individual vloggers that review in Filipino seem to have an affinity with the country’s market,” the company said in a press statement.


Despite the high earnings these YouTubers get, new regulations by YouTube may change their earnings, as the company announced that any amount earned from US viewers through Youtube Premium, ad views, Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Channel membership will now be taxable. Creators may be taxable up to 24% of their total earnings if they aren’t able to submit their tax information to AdSense before May 31, 2021.

“That said, Filipino tech vloggers may not be as affected, especially for the individuals that review in the Filipino language. However, this doesn’t discount their Filipino-American audience. With this new rule in place, we will have to wait and see how much this will affect the country’s tech vloggers,” the company added.

The survey was conducted with manual shortlisting done by Nox Influncer, and data is collected based on the channel’s analytics shown on the metric platform SocialBlade. Rates are determined based on a low click-per-minute (CPM) value ($0.25 USD) and a high CPM value ($4.00 USD), numbers that were found to be common from their partners, and multiply them by the number of views the channel gets per day.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As a result of the disruption caused by the global pandemic, more small businesses in Malaysia have utilized digital technologies in their operations and services, new survey from professional accounting organization CPA Australia shows.

According to the survey, 40% of businesses have begun increasing their focus on online sales in the past 12 months, as well as social media amplification, with over 60% using it to promote their business and 55% using it to communicate with customers.

While most Malaysian small businesses offer customers new digital and mobile payment options, 61.5% still receive 50% or more of their sales in cash, above the APAC survey average of 46.4%.

“The strong connection between technology usage and business growth and the quick returns many Malaysian businesses experience when investing in technology is no doubt helping to drive this uptake. Forty-two per cent reported positive returns from their technology investment last year,” said Jimmy Lai, president of CPA Australia, Malaysia Division.

Despite efforts among the small businesses scene in the country, most find difficulty in financing conditions. Nearly 50% expecting they will face problems accessing finance. These difficulties, plus an uncertain outlook are also expected to impact the solvency of many businesses, with 32% anticipating it will be difficult to repay debts in 2021.

“Small businesses may be offering limited digital and mobile payment options due to a lack of understanding about what’s available or scepticism towards these solutions. This echoes findings from CPA Australia’s 2020 Report on Business FinTech Usage Survey, that showed 31% of businesses with fewer than 50 employees identified a lack of fintech understanding among the board or senior management as a challenge to fintech adoption,” Lai said.

He also added that more can be done to assure business that digital and mobile payment options can provide better customer reach, which should contribute to recovery this year.

COVID-19 is likely to continue creating challenges for Malaysia’s small businesses. Developments such as the spike in infections at the start of the year are balanced by the vaccine roll-out and easing of restrictions. This suggests a more positive picture for 2021, which is supported by the survey results. About 70% of respondents expect their revenue to grow this year, up from 56% last year. Exporting will make an important contribution to growth, with 45% expecting revenue from overseas to grow this year.

“With many small businesses having a strong focus on innovation, e-commerce, good staff and improving business strategy, we are likely to see them recover quickly from COVID-19, especially in the second half of the year. Such a focus also sets them up for long-term growth,” Lai stated.

He added, “However, uncertainty in the economic outlook will remain an impediment to small business recovery. The government should therefore continue to play its enhanced role in supporting this fundamental sector of Malaysia’s economy in the near term.”

Manila, Philippines – Filipino consumer behavior during the pandemic has shifted to frequent use of e-commerce platforms and cashless payments systems, a new report from financial services Visa shows.

In the Philippine-centric report, Visa noted that 52% of Filipinos shopped online through apps and websites for the first time during the pandemic and 43% of them made their first online purchase using social media channels.

Online shopping activity behavior also rose within the period of past year, as the report showed close to 9 in 10 Filipinos have increased their online shopping activities on websites or apps, whilst 7 in 10 are shopping more on social media channels. 

More than half of the consumers are also more inclined to shop from large online marketplaces (53%) and home-based businesses (61%). These new shopping preferences might turn into habits that last beyond the pandemic.

As part of the growing behavior of online purchases, food deliveries also rose, as more than 9 in 10 Filipinos used home delivery in the Philippines and 67% of them increased their use of home delivery services during the pandemic. This can be attributed to the existing quarantine and lockdown restrictions being implemented by the government in the country.

“The pandemic has transformed the way Filipinos shop and pay. Based on the latest highlights from our annual study, we see adoption of new consumer behaviors including more Filipinos using digital commerce platforms and helping to accelerate the usage of digital payments in the country. We see double digit growth for e-commerce transactions for purchases on marketplaces and digital goods,” said Dan Wolbert, country manager for the Philippines and Guam at Visa.

Wolbert also noted that some of the initial purchases made by first-time online consumers include food and groceries, bill payments as well as pharmaceutical products.

Using physical cash as payment has dwindled by the offset of the pandemic, as best compared to pre-pandemic consumers averaged to 7 out of 10 payments made in cash, compared to mid-pandemic consumers who only averaged to 5 out of 10 payments made in cash.

Filipinos cited using more contactless payments (73%), perceiving cash as unsafe because of the potential spread of infection (54%) and more places adopting digital payments (50%) as the top reasons for carrying less cash. In addition, Filipinos see bill payments (81%), grocery shopping (71%), and overseas travel (68%) as the top categories where they would likely go completely cashless in future.

The study also showed that contactless payments had 66% increase in usage amongst current users due to the pandemic. In addition, 88% of Filipinos who had not used contactless payments stated interest in using this payment method in the future. Top benefits perceived by Filipinos for usage of contactless cards include not having to carry cash with them (88%), feeling safe from infection (75%) and being an innovative payment method (68%).

“We believe that contactless payments will continue to grow as Filipinos appreciate the benefits of contactless payments, including perceiving this payment method to be more hygienic due to the absence of physical interaction at point-of-sale. Even though we’ve made progress in digital payments adoption, there remains huge opportunities for us to encourage more Filipinos to embrace digital payments as we look to expand digital payments acceptance across the country,” Dan added.

The study was conducted on 1,014 Filipinos aged 18-65 years of age across key cities in Manila, and in several provinces.

Singapore – Video game playing in the Asia-Pacific has risen to a new level, with consumers playing more than 9 hours of online games each week in 2020, a report by content delivery network company Limelight shows.

According to the study, the sudden spike in gaming has been driven by some gamers looking for social connections. More than 7 in 10 Asia Pacific gamers (72%) say they have made new friends through online games in the past year and more than one in three (36%) say the ability to interact with other players is extremely important. 

Furthermore, opportunities for interactivity and social engagement are likely drivers for video game adoption with the majority (79%) of global gamers saying they started playing video games in the past year.

Part of the growing numbers in the online gaming community is the high demands for next-generation consoles as gaming performance peaks. About three quarters (74%) of gamers are interested in purchasing a new console, due to updated technology (39%) and faster gameplay (37%. According to the study, gamers in China are most likely to consider upgrading their console (92%).

Such high rise of next-generation consoles comes with a higher demand for faster gaming experiences, as the study showed that five in 10 (51%) of Asia Pacific gamers cite this importance, also emerging as the top-cited significant aspect of game. In addition, 84% of gamers in the region say the process of downloading games is frustrating.

“Asia Pacific is home to some of the world’s most ardent gamers, and they are now looking to video games to provide an interactive, high performance, disruption-free experience that allows them to connect with others and play longer,” said Edwin Koh, director of Southeast Asia at Limelight.

The study showed the average APAC region gamer has played video games consecutively for four hours and 49 minutes. Young gamers ages 18 to 25 have binge-gamed for the longest, at an average of nearly five hours.

Gaming has also become a spectator sport. The report shows that 72% of Asia Pacific gamers say they’ve started to watch others play video games in the past year. The average gamer spends three hours and 36 minutes each week watching others play video games online and gamers in India spend the most time of any country surveyed (five hours and 18 minutes each week). Furthermore, more than three in five (67%) gamers say they prefer to play video games versus watching a movie or TV show.

“This evolution is putting pressure on gaming companies to match this demand with edge-based content and compute to deliver high-quality gaming environments to users across the globe,” Koh stated.