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More Singaporean Travellers Seeking Off The Beaten Track Adventures

December 6, 2019 OTA News No Comments Email Email

YouTrip, Singapore’s first multi-currency travel wallet, conducted the Singapore Overseas Spending Study 2019, analysing the travel and overseas spending habits of 100,000 Singaporean travellers between September 2018 to August 2019. The study aims to uncover predictions of up-and-coming off the beaten track destinations, and to curate useful tips to help travellers manage their money in these destinations in the coming year.

In general, YouTrip users are well-travelled, covering 161 out of a total of 195 countries (83%) in the world. Notably, YouTrip’s Overseas Spending Study revealed a trend in the popularity of off the beaten track[1] destinations.

Caecilia Chu, Co-Founder and CEO of YouTrip, said: “Singaporeans have always loved to travel. Since our launch, we’ve seen Singaporean travellers become increasingly adventurous, taking their YouTrip cards to more exotic destinations. It is exciting to our team that more travellers are entrusting YouTrip with their money during their travels!”

Next Up: Chile, Romania, Mongolia!

It comes as no surprise that the top destinations[2] among Singaporean travellers in 2019 are Malaysia, Japan and Australia. Interestingly, the study also highlighted a trend of off the beaten track destinations gaining popularity among travellers. YouTrip predicts that in 2020, Chile, Romania, and Mongolia will be the up-and-coming choices for an off the beaten track holiday. The three destinations have seen an average 76% growth in the number of unique YouTrip visitors, compared to an average 42% growth of other off the beaten destinations.

Chilean Peso, Romanian Leu, Mongolian Tögrög, and more

The Overseas Spending Study 2019 suggests a shifting preference towards using multi-currency travel wallets for overseas payment. YouTrip’s ten-fold growth in transactions processed in the last half of the year proved an increased usage among travellers. Since its launch in August 2018, over 10 million transactions have been processed. Multi-currency travel wallets like YouTrip provides travellers the convenience and access to a great number of currencies, including niche currencies such as Chilean Peso, Romanian Leu, Mongolian tögrög – amongst many others. This access to niche currencies could also be  a contributing factor to the skyrocketing popularity of off the beaten track destinations like Chile, Romania, and Mongolia.

More Adventures, New Experiences

Another reason exotic destinations are preferred could be attributed to the fact that Singaporean travellers are becoming more adventurous. According to a 2019 survey by Skyscanner, 82% of respondents say they are planning to visit destinations they have not been to before, citing “off the beaten-track destinations like Ethiopia, Guatemala, Iran and Yemen”.

YouTrip’s Overseas Spending Study revealed that Gen Y[3] travellers covered close to 20% more[4] destinations than Gen X[5] in 2019, preferring off the beaten track destinations such as Luxembourg, Peru, and Saudi Arabia. While Central Asia remains one of the top regions for Gen X travellers to visit, Mexico, Slovakia and Montenegro are fast gaining popularity as off the beaten track destinations among Gen X travellers. These findings are echoed in a 2013 McKinsey study, which showed that Gen Y travellers – also known as Singapore Millennial Travellers (SMT), seek more unique travel experiences.

Hendric Tay, Co-Founder of The Travel Intern, shares his thoughts on one of the predicted up-and-coming destinations: “Mongolia is one of the most interesting and unexplored places on the planet. Tourism is still very new to Mongolia, having started only 20 years ago. Its untouched landscapes and nomadic culture adds to its allure to the growing number of travellers seeking a unique travel experience.”

Travellers Just Want To Have Funds

YouTrip’s Overseas Spending Study also gives travellers insightful budgeting tips to up-and-coming off the beaten track destinations. Based on the average YouTrip user spend in each destination, travellers may expect to spend[6] a daily estimate of S$107 in Chile, S$76 in Romania and S$85 in Mongolia, mainly on food and transport expenditure.

In comparison to the top three popular travel destinations, travellers to Malaysia, Japan and Australia spend an average of S$116, S$195 and S$115 per day respectively.

Overall, Singaporean travellers spend almost 33% of their total travel budget on food. Even in off the beaten destinations observed in 2019, YouTrip is used mainly on dining expenditure. Proven food advocates, Singaporean travellers also tend to seek familiar food when in non-Asian countries, with cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, and Thai falling within the top five most frequented F&B outlets. In the top three most popular travel destinations, YouTrip users spend an average of S$67 in Japan, followed by S$40 in Malaysia, and lastly S$30 in Australia in a single dining receipt.

[1]  Countries that receive 25% or less than the average number of Singaporean visitors per country

[2] Top 3 countries with the highest number of unique visitors

[3] YouTrip users aged 23 to 38* within the period of study

[4] 153 countries visited by Gen Y vs 128 countries visited by Gen X

[5] YouTrip users aged 39 to 54* within the period of study
*Generations and Age | PEW RESEARCH CENTER. (2019, January 17). Retrieved November 12, 2019, from https://www.pewresearch.org/topics/generations-and-age/.

[6] Figure does not include online bookings of air-fare and accommodation, and pre-booked activities

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