SINGAPORE - Of 500 Singapore football fans surveyed, 76 per cent have planned holidays around sporting events, and nearly half (46 per cent) admitted to changing travel plans to ensure that they don't miss a football match.
Some 94 per cent of Singapore football fans have travelled overseas to watch football, visiting an average of 2.7 countries per person, research commissioned by Expedia Group has shown.
In terms of the sacrifices Singapore football fans were willing to make for the "beautiful game", some were willing to lie to their other half with 47 per cent of respondents admitting that they had pretended to book a romantic break to watch a football match.
Additionally, 28 per cent said they would miss a birthday to watch a football match, 21 per cent would miss someone's wedding and 13 per cent would miss a parent's evening to make a football game.
Expedia said flight and accommodation bookings can increase by up to three times on the day of a football fixture announcement.
Searches for destinations also tend to grow in the lead-up to a football event, as seen from the 30 per cent increase in searches for Madrid in the lead-up to 2019's Uefa Champions League Final on June 2.
More than three in five (63 per cent) Singapore football fans travelled out of their home country to watch one to three football matches per season. Close to one in five (17 per cent) would travel more than 11 hours to watch their favourite football teams up close.
Manchester United FC's Old Trafford stadium topped the list of most desired destinations to watch live football, as voted for by nearly a third (29 per cent) of Singapore football fans. This was followed by Liverpool FC's Anfield which came in second (20 per cent), and England's Wembley Stadium (14 per cent) in third place.
"When it comes to booking travel, the rule of thumb is to book as early as possible. Football breeds some of the most passionate fans, hence the closer you get to the date of live action, there's a higher likelihood that you will have less choices and end up paying higher prices," said Lavinia Rajaram, head of communications, Asia-Pacific, Brand Expedia.
"As a general guide, travellers should book their flights at least three weeks ahead, and book on a Sunday to maximise savings. For hotels, booking on a Friday night is your best bet."