Singapore, Italy are most vacation-deprived countries: Expedia survey

Singapore and Italy are the most vacation-deprived countries in a survey by travel booking company Expedia. PHOTOS: KELVIN CHNG, AFP

SINGAPORE - Singapore, along with Italy, is the most vacation-deprived country in a new survey by travel booking company Expedia.

Singaporeans used five fewer vacation days during the pandemic-stricken year of 2020, taking an average of 10 vacation days instead of the usual 15, according to the survey results released on Wednesday (Feb 3).

This is despite the average number of vacation days received remaining the same at 16.

The survey also found that out of the 300 Singaporeans surveyed, those in the 18 to 34 age group were the most affected, with 84 per cent of them expressing vacation deprivation. This was followed by the 35 to 49 age group with 68 per cent, and the 50s and above group with 51 per cent.

The Republic tied with Italy for the dubious honour of "most vacation-deprived nation" in Expedia's global survey, with 71 per cent of respondents in both countries saying that they were either "very" or "somewhat" deprived of a vacation.

Trailing closely behind were South Korea and France with 70 per cent, and Malaysia with 68 per cent.

The survey was conducted in 16 countries and cities, and involved 9,200 people.

It also found that 90 per cent of respondents in Singapore said that they now value vacations more than ever before, followed by 89 per cent of South Koreans and 87 per cent of Malaysians.

Ms Lavinia Rajaram, Asia-Pacific head of communications for the Expedia Brand, said: "Singaporeans are some of the most avid travellers in the region, and when we consider the lack of options for inter-city travel within the country, it is of little surprise that they are the most vacation-deprived people globally this year.

"But they have adapted well while embracing the nationalistic spirit of rediscovering Singapore while supporting local tourism through staycations and local activities," she added.

The survey findings come after Singapore Tourism Board's announcement on Tuesday that more than 300,000 Singaporeans have used the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV) scheme to make bookings with Singapore hotels, attractions and tours, resulting in more than $35.9 million in SRV redemptions and out-of-pocket payments.

The survey also found that Singaporeans are likely to be more willing to spend on their holidays when overseas travel finally becomes possible. Some 62 per cent intend to spend more on their bucket list vacation than originally planned, while 67 per cent said their travel bucket list budget for 2021 has increased because of the pandemic.

While Singaporeans may be looking forward to travelling abroad, they rank among the most cautious travellers in the Expedia survey.

Some 33 per cent of Singaporean respondents would only travel that is fully refundable only.

Interest, however, remains strong. Expedia said that searches from Singapore for international destinations such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo and London have increased in recent months.

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