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Singapore’s inbound travel soars with significant CNY expenditure increase

Singapore data shows a 46.8% rise in Singapore’s inbound travel and a 108.6% increase in trip expenditure for the Chinese New Year period.

SINGAPORE – Data from Group has revealed that Singapore will see a 46.8% increase in inbound travel when comparing this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) festive period with 2023’s CNY period, with an outsized 108.6% increase in total trip expenditure for inbound bookings over the same window. An increase in travel expenditure has been observed across other markets as well, with a particularly acute rise for trips to Malaysia (+154.2%) and Japan (+241.9%), which suggests that travellers in general are increasingly willing to spend more on their trips. The average expenditure for Singapore outbound trips went up by 46.8%.

Part of the reason for increased spending could be due to tourists making longer-haul trips, with more Southeast Asian travellers travelling beyond Southeast Asia (SEA) for the 2024 CNY period. Last year, 72% of CNY travel was intra-SEA, but this has gone down to just over half (50.2%), with the other half visiting destinations further afield.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, SEA countries that have public holidays for Chinese New Year (Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei) are seeing more travel during the week of CNY than countries that do not have CNY public holidays (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar). In the week of CNY, countries with CNY public holidays make up 69.1% of all SEA bookings, versus 59% of all SEA bookings for the week before CNY.

Another two trends that cut across markets are the lengthening of booking windows, and the popularity of theme parks. Travellers are now planning their trips further in advance, with the booking window for trips originating from Singapore increasing more than two and a half times – from 18 days to 46 days – this CNY compared to last year. This was even more pronounced in Malaysia and Thailand, where the booking window more than quadrupled from 12 days to 51 days for Malaysia, and from nine days to 40 days for Thailand.

Meanwhile, theme parks rule the roost for most popular attractions for tourists from Southeast Asia. Hong Kong Disneyland is the top choice for travellers from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, with Tokyo DisneySea; Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter; Universal Studios Japan; and Ghibli Museum making up the rest of Singapore travellers’ top five overseas attractions.

Visitors to Singapore, on the other hand, will be enjoying themselves at Universal Studios Singapore, Captain Explorer DUKW™ Tour, the Night Safari, Singapore DUCKtours, Skyline Luge, S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore Flyer, and the Singapore Zoo.

Mr Edmund Ong, General Manager, Singapore, said: “With international travel continuing its steady recovery, we are delighted to welcome more visitors to Singapore – especially when reciprocal visa-free travel between Singapore and China, the world’s largest outbound travel market, begins on 9 February. We will continue to expand our offerings to help our users plan their perfect trip, while providing them with top-class customer service – no matter where they come from, or where they are in the world.”

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.