A new government study on the spending patterns of Singaporeans has shown that many in the country are spending less on personal items such as clothing, while money spent on travel is going up.
The survey, which is carried out every 5 years and known as the Household Expenditure Survey, gathered data in 2017 and 2018 from households of Singaporeans and permanent residents.
Compared to the previous study in 2012-2013, the monthly expenditure on overseas travel increased from $260 to $340.
Over the years, air travel has become more affordable, which is thought to be one of the reasons behind this 30% surge. Budget as well as full-service air carriers continue to offer increasingly competitive rates, giving more people a chance to travel.
Alicia Seah, director of public relations and communications for Dynasty Travel, believes that ”travel is becoming more perceived as part of a lifestyle instead of a luxury” and adds that families now take impromptu trips during long weekends.
In 2018, there were approximately 8.36 million outbound departures by air by Singaporean residents, an increase of over 70% in comparison with 2008. Japan remains one of the favourite destinations, with Hong Kong and South Korea also highly popular. Japan, specifically, is liked for its clean, safe and orderly environment, as well as Japanese food.
Indeed, another trend is that Singaporeans spend more of their money within Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand, with less being spent in the United States and Canada. The ease of online shopping, for example, means it is now less likely for people to actually go to North America for shopping as they did before. Around 60 percent of households have now shopped online, compared to just 31 percent five years ago.