Travel

Singaporeans opting for off-the-beaten-track destinations, says report

New report shows Ulaanbaatar and Jinjiang among emerging destinations for Singaporeans

Global travel search company Skyscanner has released its Asia-Pacific (Apac) Travel Trends Report 2018, which analyses the search and booking habits of Apac travellers, and revealed Thailand and Japan to be among the top destinations for local travellers, while also uncovering emerging destinations for 2019.

Commenting on the findings, senior growth manager for Skyscanner Robyn Lee said: "As travel continues to become even more accessible and flight fares more affordable, we can expect more Singaporeans to opt for lesser-known destinations for their upcoming holidays in addition to the usual capital cities Bangkok, Tokyo and Seoul."

#GENZEN SEEKING JOY AND PEACE IN ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA

Skyscanner found that 71 per cent of Singaporeans cited rest and relaxation as a key motivator for travel. It is no surprise that travellers are opting for off-the-beaten-path destinations like Ulaanbaatar - home to attractions such as Gandan Khiid, a Buddhist monastery with the full name Gandantegchinlen, roughly translating to "the great place of complete joy".

KONNICHIWA TO OKINAWA AND HIROSHIMA

While both Tokyo and Osaka have long served as Singaporeans' gateway to Japan, we are also constantly finding new places to explore within Japan. Okinawa and Hiroshima both saw strong growth of 102 per cent and 170 per cent respectively, likely owing to the introduction of direct flights to both cities, making travelling to other parts of Japan much easier for those who love the country.

MORE TO SEE IN KUCHING, MALAYSIA AND PADANG, INDONESIA

While neighbouring countries on the whole might be familiar ground, travellers are now venturing further from the capital cities of Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

The Borneo city of Kuching in Malaysia and the coastal city of Padang in Indonesia saw growth of 22 per cent and 137 per cent respectively - maintaining strong intra-Asean travel for Singaporeans.

20/20 (EURO)VISION VIA ATHENS AND BERLIN

Both Athens and Berlin saw strong growth, with 26 per cent and 111 per cent respectively. Local carrier Scoot introduced direct flights to both Athens and Berlin, making both cities the first long-haul destinations offered by the low-cost carrier.

Just one year after the introduction, Scoot has reported over 300 flights and over 80,000 passengers to Athens, while the introduction of direct flights to Berlin also opened up cheaper entry points to Europe for many travellers.

FUN IN FUJIAN, CHINA

Jinjiang, a small county in the Fujian province in China, saw a strong 174 per cent growth spurt in 2018 among Singaporean travellers, jumping over 55 spots from the year before.

Located just across the river from Quanzhou, Jinjiang is the closest airport to Quanzhou, a major city that was once part of the Maritime Silk Road and largest port in Asia during the Song and Yuan dynasties.

TOURISM & TRAVEL