Employees in Singapore and Italy are the most vacation-deprived in the world this year, according to the latest Vacation Deprivation Study conducted by Expedia. 71 percent of working adults in these two countries say they were “somewhat” or “very” vacation-deprived in 2020, a 4 percent increase from 2019 in Singapore and a 6 percent increase in Italy.
The lockdowns and border closures of the past year are a clear contributor to the statistics: international travel was simply not possible, and even travel within countries was difficult in many places. Out of the 16 markets covered by the study, the majority of countries emerged as being more vacation-deprived than in 2019.
What contributes to the feelings of deprivation? Lavinia Rajaram, APAC Head of Communications, Brand Expedia, suggested that in Singapore at least, working adults are simply so accustomed to travel that its lack feels like a serious loss to them. “Singaporeans are some of the most avid travellers in the region, and when we consider the lack of options for inter-city travel within the country, it is of little surprise that they are the most vacation deprived people globally this year,” she said.
While the study did not explore other possible causes for this finding, it did also find that Singaporeans took only 10 days of vacation time last year on average, two-thirds of what they would normally take. In contrast, they are planning to take 16 days' vacation in 2021. Expedia also revealed that Singaporeans' searches for international destinations on its website have gone up in the last few months.
On the other hand, much of the yearning for travel seems to have been subsumed by practicality. The study found that despite enthusiastic plans and higher vacation budgets,only 18 percent of Singaporeans have actually booked their travel, somewhat below the global average of 21 percent.