Sustainability, workations and giving back to community. These are among the top search words among 20,000 travellers across 28 countries, Booking.com revealed in a webinar earlier this week.
One notable trend is sustainability, with 47% of Singaporeans placing that as a factor for future travels, while globally 73% expect vendors to offer more sustainable travel options moving forward, based on findings from the OTA's Future of Travel report.
Giving back to the community is also high on travellers' minds, with 65% of Singapore respondents zeroing in on travel spending that will support the destination’s recovery efforts.
When corporate warriors can get back on the road, three in five indicated that they would extend their trips to slot in some R&R, while two in five are even willing to travel to a destination that mandates self-isolation on arrival if they are able to work remotely while on quarantine.
With the workation trend set to grow in popularity, Booking.com has recently rolled out a ‘laptop-friendly room type’, which features Wi-Fi, working table and other amenities that allow guests "to experience the normal 9-to-5 day in a more enjoyable manner”, said Nuno Guerreiro, regional director, South Asia, Oceania & chains.
“Now we’re looking for relaxed moments, closer to home," he added, citing his own personal experience of taking up a workation package, which allowed him to mix family time while working from a local hotel.
All in all, Singapore travellers have exhibited a clear thirst for international travel.
Of the 496 Singapore respondents polled, 42% intend to rebook a previously cancelled trip, while in general, plans to resume the same frequency of holidays in pre-Covid times will only happen 12 months after travel restrictions are lifted. Even then, these trips would primarily be domestic breaks or travels under five hours by car, or a short international trip – both under four nights.
Interestingly, despite recent aggressive campaigns to spur locals to embark on ‘Singapolidays’, only 17% of those polled plan to do so in the next 12 months, with 12% planning to do so only after that – a sign of pent-up demand for international skies.
While flexibility of cancellations or changes in bookings for free consistently remains important to 42% of Singaporeans, “63% told us they’ll look for best deals more than ever, versus the 70% global average,” said Guerreiro.
In addition to its recent partnership with Grab, Booking.com is seeking more of such collaborations that provide innovation and a “frictionless experience”, especially as travellers are looking for a “super app” of sorts where they can easily dream about travel, book the trip, transport and experiences at that destination. For now, in the development pipeline is an e-wallet in the Booking.com app to pay for activities, transport and more.
“This is an interesting direction we are exploring for contactless experiences until we have a vaccine," said Guerreiro.