SINGAPORE, 27 January 2022: After being grounded for nearly two years, the opening of 24 Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) in the second half of 2021 was the light in the tunnel for travel-starved Singaporeans.
Travel behaviour was particularly evident during the year-end holiday season, with YouTrip – Singapore’s leading multi-currency wallet – registering a 400% year-on-year (YoY) increase in total overseas spending among its local users in November and December 2021.
The company also revealed that total airline bookings in both months spiked by 700% YoY. Similarly, hotel bookings in that period increased by more than 500% YoY, while purchases on travel agencies and attractions grew more than 1300% YoY during the holiday season.
Analysing Singaporeans’ year-end overseas spending, YouTrip has uncovered three key insights.
Younger travellers spend more
Younger Singaporeans made up the majority of this first wave of jet-setters, with one in two travellers aged between 20 and 35 years old. This was followed by those in the 35 to 50 age range (30%), while those above 50 (20%) took a more cautious approach to flying.
Looking at their expenditure, the Gen Z and Millennials (20 to 35 years old) chalked up an average estimated SGD1,000 worth of in-store spending in the countries they visited – a 50% increase from the average spending in 2019 before the pandemic hit. This formed the biggest rise in spending among the age groups, illustrating their willingness to loosen the purse strings for a more desirable travel experience.
Expenditure did not include spending on air flights and hotels.
Singaporeans above 50 years old emerged as the biggest spenders, with each trip averaging SGD1,500 – a 20% increase on 2019 data.
Europe and US top destinations
Singaporeans flocked to Northern Europe, Western Europe and North America as the top three regions. Singaporeans were also ready to go further afield after staying home for so long, switching their preference for Asian countries in 2019 to far-flung destinations in 2021.
Singaporeans splash out on luxury goods
‘Luxury shopping’ was a priority for most of their travel agenda, which explains why high-end brands such as Chanel, Hermes and Prada made up the bulk of locals’ overseas shopping spending. Interestingly, this was a contrast to the spending behaviour in 2019 when users opted for more affordable brands such as Uniqlo, Don Don Donki and Chemist Warehouse.
For dining, McDonald’s (#1) and Starbucks (#2) proved to be the comfortable choice for Singaporeans when it comes to F&B options, while some indulged in London’s Flat Iron (#3) steak. What stood out was also the rise in UberEats (#4) – possibly indicative of some travellers taking the safer option of dining in.
YouTrip Mastercard Flight Delay Pass
Despite the travel restrictions, YouTrip has also observed a significant number of travellers continuing to fly for personal and business needs. Singaporeans of the Mastercard Flight Delay Pass. With this Pass, each YouTrip user and a travel companion will be able to access over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide in the event their pre-registered flights are delayed for at least two hours.
YouTrip is a Southeast Asian neobank offering the region’s first and leading multi-currency wallet. As a regional financial technology startup, it is dedicated to creating the best mobile financial services by simplifying foreign currency payments and offering the best exchange rates. YouTrip was launched in Singapore in 2018 and subsequently in Thailand in partnership with Kasikornbank in 2019. To date, it has received over 1.5 million downloads and processed close to 20 million transactions.