Rich S’pore­ans travel ‘as much as rich Chi­nese’

The China Post - - COMMENTARY - BY CH­ERYL FAITH WEE

The well-heeled in Sin­ga­pore travel as of­ten as the wealthy in China, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey by credit card firm Visa.

Af­flu­ent hol­i­day-go­ers here go abroad about three times a year on av­er­age, ty­ing with those from China as the most fre­quent trav­el­ers in the Asia Pa­cific.

This study was based on an on­line sur­vey of 500 peo­ple in Sin­ga­pore with an an­nual house­hold in­come of at least SG$100,000 (US$74,355).

It was con­ducted last Novem­ber to De­cem­ber. Seven other coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­done­sia and South Korea, were also sur­veyed.

Nearly one in two of the re­spon­dents in Sin­ga­pore said they had gone on a luxury week­end trip and a sim­i­lar pro­por­tion said they had stayed in four-star ho­tels.

“The af­flu­ent in Sin­ga­pore are con­sis­tently seek­ing luxury ex­pe­ri­ences and ser­vices when they ven­ture abroad,” said Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa’s coun­try manager for Sin­ga­pore.

When de­cid­ing where to go, shop­ping and re­lax­ing at beaches and re­sorts were the top fac­tors con­sid­ered by the rich in Sin­ga­pore.

The study also found that the av­er­age af­flu­ent per­son here is aged 37 and has an an­nual house­hold in­come of more than SG$150,000, one of the high­est across the coun­tries sur­veyed.

They ex­pect to spend more time trav­el­ing abroad this year too — jet­ting off nearly five times a year, on av­er­age.

How­ever, it is wealthy classes not just the in Sin­ga­pore who are fre­quent trav­el­ers.

Bud­get air­lines and the strong Sin­ga­pore cur­rency have made it af­ford­able for many peo­ple here to go over­seas fre­quently, said Michael Chiam, a Ngee Ann Polytech­nic se­nior lec­turer in tourism.

He said: “Sin­ga­pore­ans love to travel for all kinds of rea­sons. You can ob­serve the travel pat­terns — when­ever there is a long week­end, the num­ber of cars on the roads here lessen. Go­ing over­seas has be­come a habit for peo­ple here.”

One such in­di­vid­ual is Kel­lyn Teo, 27, a busi­ness devel­op­ment manager, who goes abroad about three times a year. She said: “I have been do­ing so since I started work­ing about three years ago.

“Go­ing over­seas is a good es­cape for a few days, a get­away from a busy life here.”

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