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Survey reveals Singaporeans seek authentic experiences on holiday

More than four in 10 (45 per cent) of Singaporeans look forward to enjoying the best of a country's natural scenery and wildlife, with another quarter (25 per cent) ranking the engagement in local cultural activities as an enjoyable holiday activity.

SINGAPORE – Gone are the days of generic tour packages and travel itineraries. A survey of 1,000 local respondents has shown that Singaporeans are increasingly seeking authentic travel experiences, with more than two in three Singaporeans preferring to engage in local activities when travelling overseas.

Released by Tourism New Zealand, the survey conducted by Blackbox Research revealed that 79 per cent of Singaporeans enjoy trying local food and delicacies while on holiday in a different country.

At the same time, more than four in 10 (45 per cent) of Singaporeans look forward to enjoying the best of a country’s natural scenery and wildlife, with another quarter (25 per cent) ranking the engagement in local cultural activities as an enjoyable holiday activity – indicating that travellers today are seeking a more immersive and off-the-beaten-track type of travel experience.

The survey also highlighted the increase in the Singaporean traveller’s preference for alternative travel mode choices. More than three in 10 (34 per cent) of Singaporeans chose travelling on a local train as the preferred mode of travel while on holiday overseas, with 23 per cent choosing to self-drive.

Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager for South and South East Asia, Mr Steven Dixon, said the survey findings are encouraging for a destination like New Zealand.

“With our unique culture and the wide range of activities available in the different locations, New Zealand is well-suited as a destination for Singaporean travellers looking for that authentic travel experience. For example, the Singaporean traveller has the opportunity to be immersed in local Maori culture – enjoying a traditional hangi feast cooked in earth ovens and witnessing the haka – when they visit the different Maori maraes (tribal meeting grounds) around the country.

“Singaporean’s passion for food is well known and there are various opportunities for travellers to be immersed in New Zealand’s vibrant food culture through events such as the upcoming Wellington On a Plate. Culinary festivals like this allow travellers to indulge in the best of local food,” said Mr Dixon.

In response to what New Zealand has to offer, official statistics have shown local travellers have been finding it an increasingly attractive destination. The latest figures released by Stats NZ revealed that the country has seen a total of 57,696 Singaporean travellers this year ending in June, which is a 7.9% increase on the previous year.

Mr Dixon added that this number is likely to further increase in the future, aided by Tourism New Zealand’s increased marketing efforts in the Asia-Pacific region and discerning travellers’ increased awareness in destination New Zealand and all that it has to offer.

“Singapore is currently our largest market in Southeast Asia, and it is currently our fourth largest in Asia. We believe this is due to New Zealand’s ability to develop unique and fun activities and itineraries to cater to the Singaporean travellers’ evolving preferences and demands. “

Here are five activities to experience New Zealand like a true Kiwi:

1. Explore New Zealand by rail and ferry
Travel on New Zealand’s iconic trains such as the Northern Explorer, TranzAlpine and sail on the Interislander Cook Strait ferry, which offer a seamless connection between the North and South islands, and to many spectacular destinations along the way. Jump on for one leg, or sit back and relax for the whole journey. It is the simplest way to experience New Zealand’s rich diversity and breathtaking beauty. So go on, hop on board.

2. Meet the locals and say Kia Ora!
Soak up Maori culture and hospitality in Rotorua, the cultural heart of New Zealand. Visit an authentic pre-European Maori village, learn carving or weaving from master artists, sample contemporary food cooked using traditional methods, or participate in Maori singing and cultural shows. After a delicious ‘hangi’ feast, the thermal hot pools will be calling.

3. Meet the local (birds)
A self-contained mainland island, Zealandia is a unique eco-sanctuary for New Zealand’s native wildlife. Rare species are living wild within one square mile of regenerating forest surrounded by a ground-breaking pest-proof fence. Choose from 32 kilometres of tracks to spot kaka (the playful forest parrot), tuatara (a reptilian living fossil), saddleback, hihi, falcon, takahe, weta, tui, robin and many more. Book a night tour to seek out the iconic little spotted kiwi and other nocturnal creatures.

4. Sip and swirl through the vines
New Zealand is world famous for its Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Central Otago Pinot Noir. But what is even better is that New Zealand’s main wine growing areas are also some of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of the country. Take a road trip down the coast from Hawke’s Bay to Marlborough and meet local winegrowers along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Vineyards stretch throughout every region of the country so there’s always opportunity to wine and dine.

5. Tuck into Wellington’s delicious city food experiences
Wellington buzzes with cafes, delicatessens and restaurants, and it is easiest for the visitors to experience the different personalities of the city on foot.

Special Wellington food experiences include a chocolate cafe, a restaurant that puts a new spin on traditional Maori food and a seafood restaurant that’s housed in a restored historic woolshed. Zest food tours do a ‘walking gourmet’ tour of the inner city, which culminates in a three course tasting lunch with matched New Zealand wines.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.