Nine out of 10 agree travelling is about exploring the unknown and having an adventure; Ninety-one percent say the journey is as important as the destination itself; Budget, personal safety, attractions and relaxation all key considerations when choosing a destination
SINGAPORE - A survey released by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, revealed insights on Singapore-based travellers' attitudes and preferences, particularly when travelling to the Gulf region. Among those surveyed - from young millennials to baby boomers - differentiated experiences such as luxurious encounters and taking on the unknown were among the top preferences for overseas trips.
Beyond looking at the preferred destinations and attractions, the survey also took a closer look at the top considerations when travelling across the different age groups.
"Singaporeans are considered as one of the most well-travelled people in the world. Gaining insights into their travel attitudes and preferences, especially when it comes to travelling to the Gulf region helps uncover opportunities not just for airlines like Etihad, but also the wider travel industry," said Jeffrey Lim, General Manager of Etihad Airways in Singapore. "For example, these insights can help industry players develop offerings and packages that put more emphasis on the overall experience, rather than competing to deliver the lowest possible price."
Over the past few years, Abu Dhabi has quickly become a popular holiday destination for many travellers all around the globe, including many Singaporeans. From the survey, the capital city of the UAE is seen as a top cultural and historical destination (43%), a popular exotic location (38%), and shopping heaven (32%).
All About the Experience
As one of the most well-travelled groups in the world, Singapore-based travellers know exactly what they want while on holiday. Among those surveyed, seven out of 10 indicated they want luxurious experiences during their trips though this declines in appeal among older travellers.
What is not age-dependent, though, is the desire to discover new lands, smells, tastes and experiences, with nine out of 10 people surveyed agreeing that travelling is all about exploring the unknown and having an adventure. Nine out of 10 Singapore-based passengers also believe that ultimately, the holistic experience throughout the journey is as important as the destination itself.
This goes to show that while there is a demand for carefully curated and unique travel experiences, travellers' overall satisfaction can be significantly impacted by the various touchpoints throughout the journey -- from airport check-ins and immigration checks to the flight and transfers on-the-ground.
It's not just about the price tag
Despite the differences in background, age and demographics, top considerations when choosing their next destination remain the same across the board. While over half (53%) of the respondents said that budget is a key consideration, other factors that impact their decision-making process include:
- Personal safety & security (51.91%)
- Cultural and historical attractions (48.25%)
- Relaxation (47.93%)
These results reinforce why more exotic destinations outside Asia have become increasingly appealing to Singapore-based travellers. According to the respondents, the top reasons passengers consider the Gulf region as their next holiday destination include the availability of cultural and historical attractions (42%), its exoticism (33%), and the many shopping options that abound (31%).
Making a lasting impact
Age is not a factor when it comes to wanderlust, nor does it decrease interest in exploring new places and cultures. But what really leaves a lasting impression for Singaporeans during their trips? Based on the research, while the attractions themselves are a factor, the secret lies with Singaporeans' appetites, with 65 percent saying that the food they ate was one of the key highlights of their most unforgettable holidays.
This is followed by the personal connection they make with the local culture and history of the destination (53%), the unique local activities they experienced (50.4%) and quality of services they received during their travels (50%).
Results of the survey show that there is a significant opportunity for industry players in the Gulf region to take advantage of Singaporeans' desires for more non-traditional or unexpected destinations. Etihad Airways' home base, Abu Dhabi, offers the perfect alternative to the usual holiday destination allowing tourists to soak up the Emirati culture while offering the conveniences of the world's modern cities.