Singapore’s introduction of Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) in the second half of 2021 launched the year-end holiday season, according to multi-currency wallet YouTrip’s report, which registered a 400% year-on-year increase in total overseas spending among Singaporean users in November and December 2021.
Why it matters
Younger Singaporeans are travelling more and they now prefer destinations in Europe and the US from Asia Pacific countries previously, with luxury brands accounting for most of their overseas shopping spending in 2021 compared with 2019.
One in two travellers in November and December 2021 were Singaporeans aged 20–35, spending an average $1,000 in-store in the countries visited – up 50% from 2019 before COVID-19.
Northern and Western Europe, and North America were the top three regions that Singaporeans visited in 2021 – a shift from their preference for Asian countries in 2019.
Total airline bookings in both months jumped 700% year-on-year, while hotel bookings rose over 500% year-on-year and purchases on travel agencies and attractions grew by over 1,300%.
Singaporeans splashed out on luxury goods, with brands such as Chanel, Hermes and Prada making up the bulk of overseas shopping spending – a contrast to 2019 spending behaviour.
“Singaporeans’ travel behaviour last year gave us a glimpse into the potential of the travel comeback. Undoubtedly, this has taken a temporary pause due to the tightening of borders to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. However, we’ve seen our users taking these changes in their stride with most of them going ahead with pre-planned travels to recharge and reconnect with the world.” – Kelvin Lam, regional general manager, YouTrip.
The YouTrip internal data is based on overseas transactions by Singaporean users in November–December 2021 versus November–December 2020, and the average in-store expenditure of $1,000 excludes spending on air flights and hotels.