Singaporeans spending more on travel than shopping, reveals Govt survey

Singapore people during weekends

As per a new survey conducted by the Department of Statistics, people of Singapore spend more on travel, revealed the government study focusing on the other fact that they are spending less on clothes and shoes, compared to five years ago.

This latest Household Expenditure Survey is based on data collected between 2017 and 2018 for Singaporean and permanent resident households.

The survey revealed that the average monthly expenditure on overseas travel increased from $260 to $340 since the last survey which was conducted five years ago between 2012 and 2013.

On the other hand, it mentioned that the average household spent about $120 a month on clothing and footwear, down from about $160 since 2012 and 2013. But retail experts say this reduction does not necessarily mean people are shopping less.

As per the director of public relations and communications for Dynasty Travel, Alicia Seah, affordable air travel is one of the reasons behind this. To The Straits Times, she mentioned that Singaporeans see travel as a part of their lifestyle, not luxury.

The professor of marketing and director at the Singapore Management University's Retail Centre of Excellence, Kapil R Tuli, said in the past 10 years, "there have been a lot more fast-fashion options for consumers - brands such as Zara and Uniqlo offer pretty good designs at low prices," while more online companies are offering attractive discounts and better return policies.

The travellers are spending more in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, while expenditure in the United States and Canada has fallen, mentioned the survey. Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea are some of their destinations, said Marcus Yong, regional marketing director of online travel agency Klook.

On the other hand, it should be noted that online spending on items like shoes and clothing has increased from 4.4 percent to 7.7 percent in 2017 and 2018. But Ho Semun, the CEO of the Textile and Fashion Federation said that the new business model such as cloths on rent and other sales of pre-loved items could also be a factor behind the overall decline.

She also noticed that now more consumers like to buy these items from sale and outlet stores and stated that "even if a consumer shops the same amount, their spending today could be lower than it was then."