Singapore: 3 in 10 say they still plan to holiday abroad in 2022 despite rise in COVID-19 cases

Nearly three in 10 here are planning to travel overseas this year even if the current global COVID-19 situation remains the same, despite the international resurgence of COVID-19 cases and changing travel restrictions as the omicron variant sweeps the globe.

This was one of the findings of an online survey of 1,000 respondents commissioned by The Straits Times and conducted by market research firm Milieu Insight from Jan. 6 to 10.

The respondents, who are all Singaporeans, are representative of the Singaporean population aged 16 and above by age and gender.

Of the 28% who said they intend to travel this year, one-fifth had already traveled for leisure since the start of the pandemic.

Ms. Joy Wang, 29, told ST that she traveled between September and November last year, visiting places such as Canada, London and Switzerland.

“I always had a goal of travelling to at least 10 new countries per year and so it was difficult for me not to be jetting off every month after the pandemic hit,” said Ms. Wang.

The part-time yoga instructor said that while there are more checks and regulations to be aware of when travelling now, she felt that the destinations make them all worthwhile.

“I feel that at some point, I may get the virus within or outside of Singapore, and so I would rather lean into the situation now than live in fear avoiding it,” Ms. Wang said.

A higher proportion of respondents aged 25 to 34 years old — 43% — said they intend to travel this year, compared with 35% of those aged 16 to 24, 25% of those in the 35-44 age group, 20% of those aged 45 to 54, and 18% of those 55 and older.

Ms. Nicole Tow has booked tickets to travel to Paris in March for a month.

The 31-year-old assistant manager used to travel for leisure two to three times a year before the pandemic and has not traveled since it began.

She intends to travel this year with a group of friends but said that half of them have changed their minds with the worsening COVID-19 situation across the globe.

“We [the remaining group of friends] are aware of the risks and extra costs if we do get infected with COVID-19 but felt it was still worth it to travel,” said Ms. Tow.

Married couple Dorothy Sim, 28, and Kenneth Ler, 29, left Singapore on Jan. 5 for Los Angeles and Colorado for their belated honeymoon. They got married in November.

Said the couple: “It feels great and amazing to be able to experience other cities and cultures again.

“We are willing to travel because we are young and have been vaccinated and ‘boosted,’” meaning they have had booster shots.

The couple managed to book their flight when the Vaccination Travel Lane scheme opened on Oct. 19 for the United States last year.

They added: “Complying with the myriad of COVID-19 testing requirements is definitely a headache and there is always the worry of whether one will test positive for the next test.

“But we try to be vigilant as much as possible while having fun.”