SINGAPORE is the stand-out favourite destination of South-east Asia, found this year’s MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey, with the island nation consistently ranked among the top three most-desired destinations by travellers in the region.
Released last week, the survey has asked travellers from seven South-east Asian countries where they would go to in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) if they were awarded an all-expenses paid holiday. Singapore trumped for Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam.
When respondents were asked for their global dream destination, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam still picked Singapore.
Malaysian travellers voted Dubai for APMEA and London for their global dream destination, while in Thailand Tokyo claimed first position on both counts.
As for Singaporeans, this travel savvy nation said they would choose Tokyo among APMEA destinations and Paris for a global dream holiday.
Denizens of the Lion City were rated the most well travelled of their South-east Asian peers, with 82 per cent having travelled internationally in the last 12 months. They are also the most travel-hungry – 87 per cent intend to go overseas in the next 12 months.
Malaysians were the next well-travelled at 67 per cent, followed by Thais at 65 per cent.
However, Thai people spent the most when overseas at approximately US$2,100. Singaporeans come next with US1,800 and Myanmar travellers take the third spot with US$1,750.
In terms of desire to travel, Malaysia is in second place at 84 per cent intending to make a trip in the next 12 months and Myanmar is third with 80 per cent.
The survey concluded that the strong desire for travel coincides with an upbeat consumer outlook in the region, where consumer sentiment in South-east Asia was registered at 77.7 index points or 6.4 points higher than in 2014, as reported by the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence.
Matthew Driver, president of South-east Asia, MasterCard, commented: “In tandem with economic progress, we are seeing a steady rise in the middle class with a higher disposable income which allows people to venture overseas more often for leisure travel.”
The MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey was conducted among 2,865 respondents between the ages of 18 and 64 in seven South-east Asian markets over the period of October to November 2014.