When traveling for work, employees from Singapore want local leisure activities to be part of their travel experience too, contributing to the business-leisure travel segment, gaining popularity as “bleisure.”
This is as cited in Amadeus’ Journey of Me report, where two in five (40%) of Singaporean business travelers find recommendations that help them plan their itinerary the most useful, while a quarter (25%) value sightseeing recommendations.
The research, conducted in collaboration with YouGov, surveyed a total of 6,870 respondents across 14 markets in Asia Pacific.
Cost and convenience still top
Overall, Asia Pacific business travelers are just as cost conscious as their leisure travel counterparts, and are most interested in receiving recommendations that help them save money (34%).
There are differences by country, though.
While employees from Singapore find recommendations that help them save money and plan their itinerary the most useful (both 40%), business travelers from China, India and Vietnam prefer recommendations that ensure their safety (37%, 34%, and 37% respectively).
Meanwhile, Japanese employees prefer recommendations that make their travel more comfortable (39%), while Koreans prefer recommendations for sightseeing (35%).
Ride sharing trends
The focus on cost has seen the sharing economy – specifically ride-sharing services and home-sharing services – become more accepted for business travel. Almost half (46%) of business travelers use ride-sharing services to get around during their trip, compared to 31% of leisure travelers.
Alongside cost saving, the top reasons business travelers use sharing services are ease and convenience (59% for ride-sharing, 50% for home-sharing) and better quality and service (43% for ride-sharing, 39% for home-sharing).
Renaud Nicolle, vice president, travel channels, business travel Asia Pacific, Amadeus said, “The rise of ‘bleisure’ means that business travel behaviors are becoming more aligned to leisure travel, including cost consciousness. Sharing economy providers benefit from this trend thanks to the competitive products, flexibility and convenience they are able to offer and deliver.”
Access to internet is key
While business travelers are cost conscious, there is one comfort they will happily pay for – connectivity.
Wi-Fi remains the popular choice, but purchasing a local SIM card is a close second for business travelers from Indonesia (54%), Singapore (52%), Philippines (51%), Hong Kong (47%), New Zealand (45%), Vietnam (45%) and Malaysia (44%).
On the other hand, Korean (64%) and Japanese (40%) business travelers prefer to use international roam-as-you-go services, while those from India (56%), Thailand (51%), Australia (43%) and Taiwan (42%) prefer to buy an international phone or data package before they leave home.
While it might seem these employees choose to stay connected to keep up-to-date with work, this is not listed as the highest priority by any Asia Pacific business travelers, except those from Korea (56%).
Instead, access to maps and location information is rated as the top priority for staying connected (53%), followed by letting people know they’re safe (50%).
Business travelers from Singapore place greater priority on local leisure activities. While access to maps and location information is their top priority (67%), researching things to do at the destination is a close second (63%), on par with letting people know they’re safe (63%).