Travel businesses in Singapore slow to embrace mobile: PayPal

Travel businesses in Singapore slow to embrace mobile: PayPal

SINGAPORE - Today's traveller has been revealed to be spontaneous, on-the-go, and looking for travel services that can allow them to make bookings on their mobile devices at anytime of the the day, reported PayPal.

The PayPal Insights: The Digital Future of Travel 2014 study revealed that Singapore travellers spent an average of US$399 (S$442) on travel bookings using their mobile devices in the past year. Travel-related goods and services have become the second most popular e-commerce category after fashion in Singapore alone, it added.

The study detailed that almost 75 per cent of online shoppers from Singapore have made travel bookings. Over 90 per cent of the respondents also said they have made travel-related bookings online through travel agents or direct-booking websites within the last 12 months.

Despite the opportunity to grow, many businesses have not tapped into the digital market or upgraded their websites to become mobile-friendly.

According to the research, nearly half of the businesses in Singapore currently have no mobile presence, with Malaysia and Thailand following behind with 46 and 29 per cent, respectively.

Though computers remained the top device used for online travel bookings, a significant proportion of bookings are now done on mobile devices across the region.

Travellers seek websites or mobile apps optimised on their devices that offer a simple and secure payment option to let them make bookings whenever they need, the study added.

Close to half of travellers surveyed had made travel bookings on their smartphones, said the study.

Looking to the future, the study projected a 15 per cent growth per year in the e-commerce industry that will be worth US$2.03 billion by 2018.

It also predicted that almost all online shoppers in Singapore will own a smartphone by 2018 and over 90 per cent of them will be accessing the Internet via their devices every day.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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