One in three Singaporeans travel overseas to shop

One in three Singaporeans travel overseas to shop
More than half of Singaporeans prefer shopping holidays, while a third travel mainly for shipping trips.
PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans are taking their reputation as avid shoppers overseas, with one in three revealing that shopping was their main reason for going on holiday.

Conducted by insurance company AIG in April 2015, a survey of 1,205 people found that 36 per cent indicated that they go on holiday purely to shop. This number is well ahead of the other reasons - 21 per cent said they travelled for a weekend getaway, 12 per cent travelled to go to an exotic destination, and only 4 per cent travelled for a luxury holiday.

On average, the survey found that Singaporeans spent an average of $336 a day on shopping holidays.

The most popular shopping holiday destinations were Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Of these three, Thailand was the most popular, with 17 per cent of survey respondents travelling there to look for a bargain.

However, all this increased shopping comes with a downside. Even as Singaporeans pack their bags full of new purchases, AIG revealed that 7,500 insurance claims had been made by travellers in three popular shopping destinations.

The destinations with the highest number of claims were Thailand and Taiwan, followed by Hong Kong. With such popular destinations having such high numbers of baggage-related insurance claims, AIG recommends that travellers keep records of their purchases to ensure a smooth claims process.

Such records can be as simple as a receipt or a photograph. According to AIG, loss or damage to baggage accounts for 28 per cent of insurance claims, second only to medical expenses at 41 per cent.

AIG also recommends travellers to always buy travel insurance for their baggage. Even though travellers may not be able to recover lost or stolen baggage, they can at least have the peace of mind knowing that their purchases will be reimbursed.

andrewg@sph.com.sg

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