THE FIRST four months of 2012 threw up several interesting outbound travel trends in Singapore, with ZUJI Singapore registering a significant increase in flight and hotel bookings to destinations that were further afield.
Koh Samui saw a 25 per cent (year-on-year) jump in demand, while Hokkaido (+ 40 per cent) and the Maldives (+ 60 per cent) were also popular. European destinations were especially hot, with Paris (+ 30 per cent), London: (+ 40 per cent) and Barcelona (+ 200 per cent) receiving the bulk of the heightened interest.
According to ZUJI Singapore, outbound travellers were picking Koh Samui for short getaways in place of the usual destinations such as Bali, Phuket and Langkawi.
In addition, the growing number of affordable flight options, even if it requires a stopover, meant exotic and far-flung destinations such as Hokkaido and the Maldives had become more accessible.
Travellers were also switching their choice of destination to regions where they enjoy a significant advantage in terms of currency exchange. Europe is seeing a surge in demand due to ongoing instability in financial markets and its plummeting currency.
In terms of forward bookings, ZUJI Singapore reported that travel sentiment for Europe was high over the upcoming summer season, while bookings to Hokkaido over the winter season were already pouring in.