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S'pore travellers heading to exotic places

S’pore travellers heading to exotic places

While Europe and Japan remain popular here, more travellers prefer to stay within one country, and head to exotic destinations.

Dynasty Travel said while there has been a 15 per cent increase in year-end bookings to Europe compared with the same period last year, top destinations now include the Nordic regions such as Finland, with the Aurora Borealis being one of the main attractions.

Spokesman Alicia Seah said that besides the Nordic countries, there have been more bookings made for travel to Portugal and Eastern Europe.

The travel agency is one of 80 exhibitors occupying over 700 booths at the 51st National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas) travel fair at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The fair started yesterday and will run till tomorrow.

Last year, Dynasty split from Natas, citing admission charges for the public and unsatisfactory publicity. This year’s fair offers free entry for the public.

CTC Travel, which has also returned to the fair, said travellers appear keen to explore different cities in familiar continents.

Russia, Croatia and Greece have also become very popular destinations for the mature traveller,” said CTC’s vice-president of marketing Sylvia Tan.

“Many have been to Europe at least once and are now keen to venture to new, less common places.”

And instead of traversing across Europe, travellers now prefer to focus on one country for a more “in-depth” experience.

Ms Seah added: “Travellers now prefer to spend around 10 days in a single European country, rather than hop around various places.”

Japan remains a popular destination, said the agencies, especially Hokkaido which is now being served by direct flights. Dynasty reported a 15 per cent increase in bookings compared with last year.

Cruises are a hit with young families, said CTC, which has seen a 25 per cent increase in bookings.

Said Ms Tan: “Young kids get bored and tired easily (while travelling). But in a cruise, they can go to the cabin to rest while the adults continue to enjoy the other activities on board, making it ideal for young families.”

Recent terror attacks in cities such as London and Paris have not deterred travellers. Said Ms Seah: “There has been a very fast recovery – two weeks later and Singaporeans are back. There may have been heightened security and more lengthy checks but, overall, the impact has been minimal.”

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