METASEARCH engine Wego has unveiled the most favoured destinations of travellers from Singapore, China and Hong Kong in the past year, and predicted which destinations will gain favour in the coming Year of the Horse.
David Lai, market development manager for Singapore and Malaysia, Wego, said Bangkok and Hong Kong had been top holiday destinations for Singaporeans last year, due to “short travelling times and the strengthening Singapore dollar against the baht and Hong Kong dollar”.
Looking ahead, Lai forecasts that Malaysia, especially Johor, and Myanmar would catch the fancy of Singapore travellers.
“Johor has grown in popularity for Singaporeans, especially with the addition of a number of family-oriented attractions and theme parks such as Legoland, Hello Kitty Land as well as the shopping opportunities at the Johor Premium Outlets,” he explained.
“Myanmar is capturing the attention of Singaporeans, and both business and leisure travel to Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, continues growing, beginning in earnest in 2012.”
On the other hand, Zhao Tang, market development manager for Wego China, said: “Taiwan and Hong Kong are still the most popular destinations for Chinese mainlanders, however internationally we expect extensive growth as a greater choice of cheaper flights become available and foreign countries welcome Chinese travellers by improving their visa services.”
Chinese travellers are also fond of island resort locations such as Bali and Phuket, as well as Kota Kinabalu. “Both Indonesia and Thailand provide visa-on-arrival facilities, and Malaysia offers a simplified visa application process and 120-hour visa-free transits, which has also helped make these destinations so popular.”
Zhao expects countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea to become more popular with Chinese visitors with the relaxation of visa restrictions there.
Meanwhile, Wego’s market development manager for Taiwan and Hong Kong, James Huang, believes South-east Asia and North-east Asia will see more Hong Kong travellers this year due to LCC growth in the region.
As for last year, he said: “There’s been tremendous growth in Hong Kongers travelling to nearby countries such as Taiwan, Japan and South Korea; while long distance travel to the US and Australia has enjoyed a mild increase.”