Skyscanner APAC Travel Trends 2020: Singaporeans seeking slow travel and micro escapes

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Skyscanner released its APAC Travel Trends Report for 2020. By utilising its proprietary technology to analyse billions of data points and booking preferences of Asia-Pacific (APAC) travellers, the report revealed that Slow Travel and Micro Escapes are becoming a mainstay as more Singaporeans seek shorter respites from day-to-day stressors, while indulging in little luxuries for added comfort.

Seeking to inspire a different way to travel, the report also uncovers emerging destinations and key travel trends we can expect to see figure more prominently in the year ahead.

Key Highlights:

1.    Slowing it down

Slow Travel is coming up tops in 2020. Registering a 20 per cent increase from the previous year, Slow Travel came in as the Top Travel Trend for 2020 with almost 19 per cent of Singaporeans opting to travel slower in the coming year.

With the World Health Organisation officially recognising burnout as an occupational phenomenon in 2019[1], Singaporeans seem to be flocking to idyllic locations with a meandering pace of life over classic holiday locales as a means of escape from their busy lives. 2020 will see more travellers flocking to the quaint villages, small towns and idyllic farms that serve as a counterpane to Singapore’s fast-paced lifestyle.

Exotic destinations for Slow Travel include Budapest (Hungary), Takamatsu (Japan), Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Saipan (the Northern Mariana Islands).

2.    (Quickly) Getting away from it all

With Singaporeans ranked among the most stressed at work globally in 2019[2], it is no wonder why they are also chasing Micro Escapes. As highlighted in the report, one out of five Singaporeans went on a Micro Escapes trip in 2019. Described as short holidays with an average length of stay ranging from three to seven days, Micro Escapes serve as temporary breathers for Singaporeans throughout the year without having to sacrifice too much family time or work commitments.

Due to the short length of stay, Asia remains a key region for Singaporeans looking for a break, with Bangkok (Thailand), Manila (Philippines), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Seoul (Korea), and Taipei (Taiwan) ranking as the top five most popular travel destinations in 2019.

3.    New discoveries

Getaway destinations closer to home burgeoned in popularity, with over 75 per cent of emerging destinations for travellers located in the APAC region, and Vietnam driving the strongest growth. 

Singaporean travellers are also choosing to head off-the-beaten path, displaying growing interest in emerging destinations including Trivandrum in India. Famed as a cultural hub, the capital city of Kerala saw year-on-year growth in bookings of 61 per cent. Another off-the-radar destination, Kunming (Yunnan), which draws travellers for its snow-capped mountains, rice terraces and lakes, registered a year-on-year growth of 42 per cent in bookings.

4.    Small luxuries for increased comfort

Singaporeans may be taking shorter trips, but more are indulging in little luxuries for maximised comfort. We see travellers spending where it counts, with 2019 seeing an increase in premium economy flights (50 per cent) and business class bookings (18 per cent). A driving factor may be an overall decrease in both premium economy and business class fares by 9 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

Bargain hunters on the lookout for additional savings can also avoid paying a premium on return Economy flights with proper trip planning, potentially making significant savings of up to 28 per cent by avoiding popular days of departure. In addition, Best-Value Destinations are great alternatives to popular but pricier destinations.

Kolkata (India), Fukuoka (Japan) and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) all displayed price drops of 19 per cent, 13 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, and these destinations are more affordable than their popular counterparts New Delhi, Tokyo or Kuala Lumpur.