New Skyscanner research reveals that travel trumps comfort for South Koreans: More than half (54%) will find different ways to travel regardless of their bank balances
• A larger majority of Singaporeans (74%) and Indians (63%) prefer only to travel if they can achieve their desired comfort levels
SINGAPORE— Skyscanner, the global travel marketplace, released its Travel in Focus Report, revealing that while travel remains on the rise, budget-conscious travellers are embracing travel with an open mind to score more affordable getaways. With insights from Skyscanner’s proprietary search and booking data, and consumer behaviour study, this report uncovers key travel insights in Singapore, South Korea, and India, for 2023.
Travel is not going away but the way people travel has changed. With the pandemic behind us and the cost of living on the rise, travellers across Singapore, South Korea, and India are more cost-conscious than ever. While rising costs of everyday items will affect their travel plans, close to 99% still plan to travel.
When it comes to planning, travellers from Singapore (63%), South Korea (66%), and India (72%) would prefer to plan every single detail of their travel ahead of time, but they are equally willing to change their itineraries if they come across a good deal.
Commenting on the findings, Skyscanner’s Travel Trends and Destination Expert, Brendan Walsh said, “Sometimes, it’s not just about where you’re going—it’s about the whole experience of getting away. Our appetite for travel certainly continues to grow, and we see millions of travellers on our site every month. Regardless of traveller’s budget, travel has never been more accessible with Skyscanner. By analysing more than 80 billion prices and data points every day, Skyscanner adds value to travel planning by connecting with over 1,200 curated partners to bring the best deals to travellers. We know that planning can sometimes be complex but with our full suite of tools such as the Everywhere Search, Whole Month Search, Multi-City Flight Search, and Price Alerts, Skyscanner keeps travel planning simple and hassle-free.”
Key Highlights from Travel in Focus Report:
With the rising cost of living, it is no surprise that travellers are looking to stretch their dollar — but Skyscanner’s recent research revealed that they are willing to sacrifice different things to fit in their budget. 54% of South Koreans are willing to give up comfort to travel no matter what, while more than 60% of Singaporeans and Indians prefer to travel in comfort.
- Escape Artists: Singaporeans are no stranger to taking every opportunity to get away from their familiar surroundings or their fast-paced lifestyle. About 80% of Singaporeans take advantage of long public holiday weekends for quick getaways, while 50% of Singaporeans have utilised between one and three long public holiday weekends in the past two years.
- Celebration Chasers: Two of five Singaporeans (40%) are motivated to travel due to the holiday season (long weekends, four seasons, and Christmas) or special occasions (anniversaries, birthdays, and honeymoons). A third of Singaporeans (33%) are attracted to destination-bound events such as Sakura season, Songkran, sale seasons, concerts, festivals, and sports events. But above all, most Singaporeans simply can’t resist a good deal – with 62% of them travelling due to a great price offer. Using Skyscanner Whole Month search, travellers can find the best deals at a glance. They can choose days to fly across the entire month. For those interested in flying to Bangkok in the next few weeks, flights on dates in green are lowest priced.
- Zen Z: While you might assume Gen Zs’ (ages 18-24) primary motivation for travel would be to update their social media accounts, “social clout” was their least commonly cited benefit of travel (29%). In fact, mental recharge to destress are Gen Zs’ most frequently cited advantage of travelling (76%), closely followed by the desire to enrich themselves through novel experiences (68%).
- Solo Flyer: 40% of South Korean travellers are likely to travel alone on their next holiday. Gen Zs are less likely to travel solo (23% of the 18-24 age group) when compared to Millennials (64% of the 35-44 age group). In comparison, nearly half (47%) of the respondents from the 65 and over age group responded that they are likely to travel alone. For the adventurous solo travellers who are flexible on destinations all around the world, try using the Search Everywhere feature on Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights out of South Korea!
- Travel Junkies: More South Koreans want to travel no matter what (54%), even if they can’t afford to travel at their desired comfort level. By year’s end, even if they’ve completed all their planned trips, most South Koreans would prefer to use their extra cash to squeeze in one more trip (61%) instead of using it on something else (35%). It’s fine balance between comfort and price. Mixing and matching the airlines and airports you choose to fly with can seriously cut costs. Fares don’t have to be booked as returns, look at flying out with one airline and back with another, or out of one airport and back into another.
- No-normal Travellers: An overwhelming majority of South Koreans (86%) are willing to allocate a larger budget, or adjust their itinerary, for obscure travel attractions and destination specific experiences. They’d rather dine at famous local restaurants or experience cultural heritage tours, instead of shop or attend sporting events.
- Deal-driven travellers: Cost continues to be a major consideration for Indian travellers, with nearly 1 in 2 travellers (47%) being very willing to change their itineraries if presented with better deals. Some Indians prefer international destinations that are less expensive to visit (35%), and some opt for non- peak travel periods (33%). For Indians looking to bag the best deal, set up a Skyscanner Price Alert to ensure you’re the first to know when prices drop with any additional discounts or added supply. You can mark a flight you’re interested in and Skyscanner will email you whenever the price goes up or down.
- Slow Travelling Gurus: In 2023, Indians prefer slow travel, with many opting for immersive travel (46%) over fast-paced travel (40%). Rather than visiting as many places as possible, travellers are looking to spend more time in a single destination where they can experience the local culture more deeply. They believe this mindful approach creates more meaningful personal connections and a richer experience. According to Skyscanner data, over 38% of Indian travellers spend longer than 1 month on a single- destination trip, including domestic and international destinations, based on redirect data for the year 2023, which is significantly more compared to travellers in Singapore (3%) and South Korea (8%)1.
- Purposeful Voyagers: Indian travellers seek meaning from within. From wellness retreats to holy sites and cricket matches — Indian travellers are looking to travel domestically with purpose and centre their travel experiences around specific activities. Over half of Indians (55%) embark on purpose-related travels within India for activities such as, scuba diving, gold, yoga, and wellness retreats. 38% of them are likely to spend more on travel to catch live cricket matches, and 1 in 2 Indians (57%) actively plan to visit holy sites in the next 6 months.
Skyscanner’s Travel in Focus 2023 report draws on its research with OnePoll and analyses survey data from 3,000 travellers in Singapore, India, and South Korea to uncover key travel behaviour and provide unique insights into travel attitudes and preferences of travellers in these countries.
1. Based on redirect data from Skyscanner for travel outbound from Singapore and South Korea respectively, for the year 2023 to date
Tatiana is the news co-ordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.