Singapore is most in-demand travel destination in APAC: report


Bookings as of June 2022 were 10% higher than in 2019 levels. 

The greatest demand amongst international travel destinations in the Asia-Pacific region is seen in Singapore, Mastercard Economics Institute reported. 

In its ‘Shifting Wallets” report, Mastercard found that consumer flight bookings as of June 2022 were 10% above its 2019 levels. This is despite heightened logistical challenges and price pressures. 

“Consumers in the Asia Pacific are looking to make up for a lost time after a challenging few years,” David Mann, Chief Economist of Mastercard AP & MEA, said. 

“The pent-up demand to see new places and experience new things is influencing consumer spending in a big way. With the ongoing prioritization of getaways, dining, entertainment, and experiences, we are expecting to see even more rebound in the travel and entertainment sectors.”

According to the report, consumer spending in Southeast Asia is experiencing a recovery in various categories – retail, travel, and entertainment. 

Mastercard particularly saw that small businesses showed gains in online services even as large businesses outperformed them dramatically. 

In Singapore, small online business services rose by more than 3.5 times compared to their pre-pandemic levels. E-commerce sales for small online retailers grew by 59% in August 2022 against 2019. 

E-commerce sales of large businesses, meanwhile, rose by 200% over the same period.

“We’re seeing new opportunities for online businesses, as both goods and experiences spending shifts away from the weekends,” he also said.

“As digital shopping and remote work continue to influence our daily habits, consumers will adjust and re-adjust their spending preferences to match the changing rhythm of our lives.”