Singaporeans - sophisticated with a soft spot for the South Island

By Julia Panfilo, Trade Marketing Manager, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

3 April 2014

Singapore and surrounding countries are a significant source of visitors to Christchurch and Canterbury.  The direct flights from Singapore to Christchurch provide an important link into the region, making it a key area of focus for organisations like Tourism New Zealand, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism and airlines.

I recently attended the NATAS Travel Fair in Singapore, where most of the attendees were either thinking about or planning their holiday to New Zealand.

Below are some tips that may help you better understand Singaporean visitors to our region:

  • Singaporeans are sophisticated and experienced travellers, taking on average one long haul holiday per year. They get 2-3 weeks annual leave and tend to travel during their school holidays in November/December and June, staying between 7-14 days.  

  • Singaporeans have a soft spot for the South Island – they love the dramatic scenery and seasonal experiences it has on offer. Their lifestyle is hectic, fast-paced with a huge focus on work, so a laid back holiday with scenic views of big open spaces is a big motivation to visit the South Island. 

The total contrast to their lifestyle back in Singapore and the appeal of the scenery and natural beauty is one of the biggest drawcards for Singaporean visitors.

Julia Panfilo, Trade Marketing Manager
  • There are number of ethnic groups that have varied travel needs: Muslim Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Their special requirements are mainly centred on food, so having halal and/or vegetarian options are important.  

  • When communicating with Singaporeans, don’t be surprised if they ask about the weather as our “four seasons in one day” type conditions is something they don’t experience at home! The most commonly asked question at NATAS was “what’s the best time of the year to travel?” followed by questions around driving conditions and snow in winter. 

  • Finally, but very importantly they can’t stay away from shopping regardless of how amazing the shopping is back at home – so good tips about local shops and products will always be appreciated.

The total contrast to their lifestyle back in Singapore and the appeal of the scenery and natural beauty is one of the biggest drawcards for Singaporean visitors.  This market is performing really strongly in terms of visitor numbers, with visitors from Singapore growing by 20% YTD compared with last year. It’s predicted that this market will continue to grow. So hopefully we’ll see more visitors from the South East Asian region in the years to come.

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