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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.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

Agoda launches new feature for spontaneous, same-day booking

Singapore – Digital travel platform Agoda has launched GoLocal Tonight, a new feature to allow users to create and plan their spontaneous travel itinerary, a direct response to the increase in demand for last-minute travel searches for same-day and next-day overnight hotel stays. 

Through the platform, travelers looking for spontaneous last-minute travel can benefit from even greater savings from Agoda’s GoLocal Tonight deals when they make a same-day booking.

With the launch of GoLocal Tonight, thousands of hotel and accommodation providers across Asia Pacific have signed up to offer travelers up to 30% additional discount off last-minute reservations.

Agoda-GoLocal-Tonight-Feature-Survey

Data from Agoda noted that Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are the top three Asia Pacific markets to embrace the impromptu travel experience searching for same-day check-ins. These markets are followed by travelers from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, India, the Philippines, South Korea, and Singapore.

“There’s a growing group of travelers choosing last-minute adventures – couch dwellers who might make spontaneous decisions to either watch a show or book a staycation for the thrill of it. GoLocal Tonight appeals to this new segment of canny, impulse travelers who are looking out for and are incentivized by low prices to take advantage of same-day deals. It’s a win-win for both partners and travelers,” said Enric Casals, regional director at Agoda.

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Insurance company Great Eastern launches virtual travel, booking platform UPGREAT Virtual Vacay in Singapore

Singapore – In collaboration with lifestyle and travel website The Travel Intern and shopping platform RebateMango, Singapore-based insurance company Great Eastern has launched UPGREAT Virtual Vacay, a new virtual travel and booking platform that offers the comfort and safety of traveling from the users’ own homes.

The platform currently showcases three destinations – Japan, New Zealand, and Taiwan through immersive curated virtual tours. Users will be able to customize their travel experience from deciding where to go, what to do, and what to eat. 

For example, virtually going through Japan, users can Go-Kart through Shibuya and visit Tokyo barsMeanwhile, opting to go to New Zealand will enable users to vitually  wander around the Hobbiton movie set, while a Taiwan virtual trip lets users go through the night markets or take a food tour at Jiufen Old Street.

In the Singapore destination, the platform offers customised staycation itineraries designed to encourage users to explore local sights such as Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Downtown Core.

The company said that in the coming weeks, users can expect for more destinations to be added in the platform such as Korea and Taiwan.

UPGREAT Virtual Vacay will be offering  promotions, rewards, and bundles with travel partners such as Booking.com, Hotels Combined, and Agoda. In celebration of the launch, the application’s “Shop & Earn” feature will also be offering double UPGREAT points which can be earned through travel bookings in Agoda, Klook, and Expedia.  

In addition to this, once users register on the platform, they can receive a complimentary one-year GREAT Value Protect plan, which provides a daily hospital cash benefit for up to 14 days if the user is hospitalized due to COVID-19, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Zika, food poisoning, and accidents, as well as death benefits due to accidents or COVID-19.UPGREAT will also make available to  consumers Travel E@sy, which allows them to reserve their travel insurance plan for any future travel from 2021 at a 60% discount onregular prices,

Ryan Cheong, managing director of digital for business at Great Eastern said, “The love for travel is such a big part of our Singaporean DNA. With UPGREAT Virtual Vacay, we aim to bring customized experiences and travel benefits to our hundreds of thousands of UPGREAT members and all who can’t wait to get out and about. As the Life company, we aim to delight our followers on our digital channels in the areas most exciting to them, and UPGREAT Virtual Vacay is a great way to do this.”

Meanwhile, Hendric Tay, co-founder of The Travel Intern said, “With limited opportunities for physical travel, all we wanted was to be transported to our favorite destinations. Collaborating with Great Eastern to design virtual travel journeys was immensely fun for the team. We hope this can bring delight to anyone who has had to cancel their travel adventures this year, regardless of their travel styles.”

The UPGREAT app is not restricted to Great Eastern customers and is free for anyone in Singapore to join.