Survey finds that Singapore’s luxury travelers are more budget-conscious than commonly thought

645
Youtube screengrab

While it is common knowledge that luxury travelers travel in an altogether different manner than backpackers and budget travelers, it seems that those who indulge in extravagance and leisure also keep a close watch on their wallets. A new Travel Habits Survey by Luxury Escapes found that Singapore jet-setters love freebies and inclusions that cut costs.

The Travel Habits Survey was conducted over a period of six weeks between June and July 2018, collecting more than 400 responses from Singaporeans and Singapore-based luxury travelers. To be identified a “luxury traveler”, they had to have spent a minimum of S$200 a night on accommodation.

A total of 223 Singaporeans and 189 Singapore residents, all of whom are members of Luxury Escapes, took part in the survey, which found that jet-setters from Singapore count their pennies and watch their budgets more than commonly thought. Apparently, small freebies and inclusions (like free breakfasts and airport transfers) make them happier than luxury indulgences. Traveling in style while saving money seems to be the name of their game.

This is the first survey conducted by the Australia-based portal, done so to understand the needs of Singapore luxury travelers and to tailor services accordingly. The main objective was to identify differences in preferences between Singapore and Australia travelers.

In an interview with CNA Lifestyle, Rajah Chaudhry, Luxury Escapes’ Head of Asia, said: “We were surprised that we overwhelmingly confirmed our hypothesis around how value-driven the luxury traveller actually is

“Despite traditional beliefs that high-end travelers want to splurge while on vacation, this survey confirms that Singaporean and resident travelers seek value above anything else.”

Chaudhry commented that Singapore luxury travelers especially enjoy “free inclusions that would save money off their total holiday budget”, such as airport transfers, main meals, snacks and drinks. These seemingly smaller freebies were preferred over luxurious indulgences, like a fully-stocked mini bar, dedicated butler service or free activities.

Ninety per cent of the respondents said they would be disappointed if they were expected to shell out money for things like breakfasts or airport transfers. The luxury travelers said that the higher the price they pay, the more inclusions they expect. Sixty-five per cent of the respondents cited access to club lounges and happy hour deals on drinks and snacks as inclusions they prefer, alongside free meals and transfers.

However, the survey found that luxury travelers still prefer to stay in high-end hotels and resorts rather than apartments or home stays, even though home-sharing has become a  popular trend. Only three per cent of the respondents said that they would choose to book private apartments or home stays.

“Singaporeans clearly want the confidence that an established hotel provides, to know that they will get what they paid for when booking a luxury hotel,” Chaudhry said.

When it came to luxury locations, the respondents said that the Maldives (60 per cent), Europe (53 per cent) and Japan (38 per cent) were their dream destinations.

According to the findings, 70 per cent take at least two or three luxury vacations per year, with tropical beachside getaways (80 per cent), eating tours for foodies (43 per cent) and adventure holidays (36 per cent) topping the lists of holiday preferences.

Chaudhry said that Luxury Escapes will use the results to tailor its services and offerings to better suit their customers’ needs:

“We know which destinations are on their wish list. This will allow us to ensure that our holidays cater for the preferences of these travelers.

“Additionally, we constantly engage with our hotel partners to keep them abreast of the trends in luxury travel and the evolving preferences of our members. These findings will help us work with our hotel partners to customize packages with inclusions that Singaporeans truly value.”