Ah, the golden question that everyone is asking during the time of the pandemic. Indeed, when can we all start traversing all four corners of the globe once more?
Travel in the new normal
It seems Singaporeans are asking this question a lot too – in a global study conducted by Expedia, Singapore and Italy are the two countries that are the most “vacation-deprived”. Wanderlust is a common longing for most of us Singaporeans, especially since we live in such a little red dot.
Global study finds Singapore as one of the most vacation-deprived countries
The study took into account 9,200 consumers – of which 300 were Singaporean – over the duration of 16 months. Results showed that 71 per cent of the respondents in Singapore and Italy claimed to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ vacation-deprived. These were followed by France (70%), South Korea (70%), as well as Malaysia (68%).
Further distilling the results revealed 85 per cent of Singaporeans surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34 acknowledged vacation deprivation; interestingly, those staying in the east of Singapore also seemed to long for travel more than those staying in the west. Ninety per cent of the Singaporean respondents now place more value on taking vacations, and are planning to use around 16 vacation days on average once travel resumes. This naturally translates to higher spending as well – 62 per cent had the intention to spend more on their desired vacation compared to before, with 67 per cent upping their travel bucket list budget for 2021 as well.
All talk, no action?
However, such desire might not necessarily correlate with concrete action, with Singaporeans exercising caution when booking 2021 vacations. Indeed, only 18 per cent of Singaporeans have booked any travel plans for 2021, which falls short of the global average of 21 per cent. Many seem to be holding back on their plans, and waiting to assess the success of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is in contrast with respondents in Germany, Thailand, Japan, and France, where more than 25 per cent of the respondents did not see the need to wait for a vaccine before making their travel plans.
Safest countries to visit once travel resumes
When the golden age of travel is upon us once more, it always pays off to be ready and raring to go. The Covid Resiliency Ranking is a monthly update by Bloomberg, which ranks the best and worst places to be – or travel to! – during the pandemic. According to this study, the safest places in the world right now (February 2021) are:
Scoring an impressive 76.8 out of 100 resilience score, New Zealand has fared well on the COVID-19 front. Led by the inspirational Jacinda Arden, the country only has 3 cases of the virus per 100,000 people, with only 5 deaths per 1 million citizens. And with access to four approved vaccines, there’s really no safer place to be!
Singapore follows closely behind with a resilience score of 71.3 out of 100. With 5 deaths per million people, and 0 fatalities over the past month, it seems as if Singapore is doing a pretty good job!
Having a resilience score of 70.9 out of 100, Australia only has 2 deaths per 100,000 people in the month of January 2021. With access to top-notch healthcare, the country has also secured access to plenty of vaccines.
These top three countries are followed by Taiwan in 4th place, China in 5th place, Norway in 6th place, Finland in 7th place, Japan in 8th place, Hong Kong in 9th place, and Vietnam rounding out the Top-10 list. The U.S., unfortunately, sits in 35th place, due to its sky-high death rate of over 400,000. The U.K. is in 32nd place, largely due to the existence of the highly infectious variant of COVID-19.
The bottom five countries are Mexico, South Africa, Colombia, the Czech Republic, and Argentina.
Hang in tight, folks – as the vaccine is rolled out in greater waves around the world, here’s hoping that travel will once again be possible soon!