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Evolving habits of the affluent Singaporean traveler.
Tuesday, 7th January 2014
Source : Visa’s latest Global Travel Intentions Survey

Singapore’s affluent travelers like to maintain a connection to their mobile devices as they travel further and plan to outspend their regional counterparts.

Affluent travelers want access to internet banking while on holiday – a requirement less important to the general traveler, according to Visa. Singapore’s affluent travelers are also venturing further away from home, travelling outside the region more than they used to.

At home or on holiday, the affluent need a constant link to their bank

It seems those with the deepest pockets are the ones who pay most attention to their finances, regardless of where in the world they are. The survey shows affluent travelers want access to internet banking while on holiday and Singapore’s affluent travelers do not “switch off”, even when on holiday.

They require constant contact with others with 82 percent accessing their emails and 61 percent accessing instant messaging platforms during their travels. At the same time, activities like sharing photos and surfing the web for leisure are less important among Singapore’s affluent when they travel – these activities have dropped to 37 percent and 35 percent respectively.

Predictably, this group also loves their devices, carrying lifestyle devices such as tablets (53 percent) and e-book readers (14 percent) as well as higher-end gadgets such as DSLR cameras (43 percent) when they travel.

Bolder destination choices

Singaporeans are well connected geographically and travel frequently. Affluent Singaporeans have averaged seven annual trips in the last two years, compared to the global average of three trips every two years. While most Singaporean travelers visit destinations relatively close to home such as Malaysia and Hong Kong, affluent travelers also have plans to venture further abroad to destinations such as Australia and the United States .

Affluent travelers around the world enjoy independent holidays and are more willing to pay extra for someone to help arrange a customized holiday. This is also true of Singaporeans.

"The definition of luxury has evolved, and today it is more about new experiences and personalized service,” Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, said. “While exclusivity and high quality service remain essential in reaching out to the affluent, the new tide of affluent travelers, who are bolder in their choices, demand a sense of adventure and personalized experiences to meet their individual interests. Singapore’s affluent travelers want to discover new places, cultures, and experiences unknown to others. Because we understand their needs, Visa designs bespoke travel itineraries and exclusive privileges at luxury hotels and resorts for our premium cardholders.”

Singaporeans plan to spend even more on travel

Good weather (35 percent), rich culture (31 percent) and good attractions (31 percent) rate as the global affluent traveler’s three most important reasons for destination choice, while Singapore’s affluent travelers choose destinations that offer good food (45 percent) and are known for good shopping (37 percent).

With high expenditure destinations such as Hong Kong and Australia increasingly popular, affluent Singaporeans are expected to spend double what they have spent in the past with an average spend of US$5,501, much higher than the regional and global average of US$ 2,501 .

Like most groups, affluent Singaporeans spend heavily on retail (28 percent), dining (26 percent) and activities (19 percent). Singapore’s affluent spend significantly higher than the global average at medium and large retailers, high-end restaurants and on entertainment and nightlife. Some 43 percent use credit cards to make these purchases – well above the global average of 28 percent .

Most Singaporeans like to holiday with their families with 71 percent travelling with relatives, compared to the global average of 69 percent.

However, affluent Singaporeans are twice as likely (16 percent) to travel alone than other Singaporeans (8 percent). They are also more likely to travel further and stay longer than other travelers, with 24 percent (compared to the Singapore average of 13 percent) flying more than 9 hours for holidays and 37 percent staying seven nights or more.

* Definition of affluent travelers in the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, are travelers with the following household incomes or higher: SGD 11,000 (Singapore)
* Premium Cardholders defined as Visa Infinite, Visa Signature and Visa Platinum Cardholders

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