Personalised travel services: an exploratory study in Singapore context

Bhati, Abhishek Singh, Cheong, Tack Hoong, Fong, Jaclyn Chang Lian, and Kaur, Kanwaljit (2013) Personalised travel services: an exploratory study in Singapore context. GSTF Business Review, 3 (1). pp. 106-113.

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This study aims to explore the demand for personalised travel services within the affluent customer segment of the outbound travelers in Singapore. The study uncovers the desired service attributes of same consumer segment. The paper begins with a general and broad overview of the travel and tourism industry worldwide and in the Asia Pacific region specifically in Singapore. The international tourism and hospitality sector has grown rapidly over the last ten years and according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals in 2012 grew to 980 million. Similarly, there has been an increase in outbound travels in Singapore. This growth has been fuelled by the economic growth that Singapore has experienced over the years. The study surveys the current literature to provide data to show the growth of outbound travel from Singapore and the increasing number of affluent Singapore travelers. The study considers an email questionnaire survey to gauge the travel patterns and desires of the affluent traveler market in Singapore. The exploratory findings identify a market for personalized travel services in Singapore and consider an inventory of service attributes desired by the affluent customer segment in Singapore. More specifically, the findings indicate that almost 65% of respondents preferred personal travel services (PTS) with 70% who currently book tours through travel agents indicating their preference for PTS. What was particularly interesting was that over 60% of those who currently engage in self-booking found the idea of PTS appealing. The key draws of PTS are convenience, personalization of itinerary and tour package, experience of consultants and trust. Personalised travel services are targeted to the high income market and the potential demand for PTS among travelers who undertake two or more trips a year was about 72%. Travelers today are looking for more value-added services and interesting tour packages rather than the run of the mill mass tours that many travel agents still provide. Growing affluence and the desire for unique and unusual tours is creating a niche market for travel agencies to exploit. The current and common business model of providing mass tours where customers are herded on a standard itinerary does not sit well with the well-heeled and sophisticated traveler of today. Today's affluent travelers want to be treated not as mere customers but rather as valuable clients, partnering with the tour agency to create unparalleled and enriching tour experiences.

Item ID: 30946
Item Type: Article (Scholarly Work)
ISSN: 2251-2888
Keywords: personalised service; desired service attributes; consumer trends
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Date Deposited: 15 May 2014 01:14
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150605 Tourism Resource Appraisal @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900301 Economic Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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