Flights to Asia-Pacific up 250 percent before CNY

Flights to Asia-Pacific up 250 percent before CNY

With a recent report indicating Asia-Pacific's travel industry may be the only one in the world to recover by 2023, this year's Chinese New Year could be cause for additional celebration. Sojern, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for travel, shares the latest travel trends for Lunar New Year.

Singapore tops flight bookings, American travellers take advantage of the strong dollar

Looking at flight bookings the top origin countries and regions travelling to or within APAC for Chinese New Year are Singapore (16%), the United States (12%), perhaps taking advantage of last year's strong US dollar against other currencies, followed by Thailand (9%), Taiwan (8%) and Japan (7%) likely due to the long awaited loosening of their COVID-19 travel restrictions. India falls out of this year's top ten, replaced by South Korea in seventh place. For hotel bookings South Korean travellers take the top spot with 16% of all APAC bookings, then the United States (11%) moving up from sixth place, followed by Japan (10%), Hong Kong (8%) and Australia (8%).

The Land of Smiles trumps Chinese New Year travel

Southeast Asia hotspot Thailand comes out as the top destination country based on flight searches for global travellers moving from second to first place in 2023 and comprising 27% of all travel to the region this holiday. Japan (19%), Singapore (18%), dropping from first to third place, the Philippines (10%) and Malaysia (8%) make up the remainder of the top five. Singapore is the top destination country based on hotel searches for 2023 comprising 21% of all searches, followed by China (15%) and the Philippines (15%).

"While the impact of inflation in the region hit last year, our data shows travellers aren't willing to sacrifice travel this holiday season," said Lina Ang, Managing Director APAC, Sojern. "Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and hoteliers should take note of those destinations showing the most interest from inbound international and regional travellers, and use intent data to reach these potential travellers with messaging from your particular destination or property."

Sojern is the leading digital marketing platform built for travel marketers. Powered by artificial intelligence and traveller intent data, Sojern provides multichannel marketing solutions to drive direct demand. 10,000 hotels, attractions, tourism boards and travel marketers rely on Sojern annually to engage and convert travellers around the world.

Salaries in SEA Expected to Increase in 2023

Salaries in SEA Expected to Increase in 2023

Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm, today released insights from its 2022 Salary Increase and Turnover Study for southeast Asia (SEA), revealing that salaries in the region are expected to increase slightly for 2023 compared to 2022. The study was conducted in the third quarter of 2022, surveying the salary changes and turnover rates of more than 700 companies across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Median salary increase budgets are forecasted across industries at 6.8 percent for Indonesia 5 .1 percent for Malaysia, 6 percent for the Philippines, Singapore at 4.7 percent, 5.1 percent for Thailand and 7.9 percent for Vietnam.

While inflation plays a significant role in how salary changes look across the region, they are also driven by supply and demand in the talent market. High attrition rates across southeast Asia in 2022 are putting pressure on firms to use compensation measures to tackle hiring and retention challenges: 15.9 percent in Indonesia, 14.9 percent in Malaysia, 18 percent in Philippines,19.6 percent in Singapore, 15.4 percent in Thailand and 15.2 percent for Vietnam.

Rahul Chawla, partner and head of Human Capital Solutons for southeast Asia at Aon said, "While it is critical for businesses to define and adapt pay for different worker types and the nature of the work, organisations must stay agile as they rethink their pay principles. Businesses need to shape their strategies towards long-term drivers of pay and performance by making changes in a phased manner to optimise pay effectiveness. In addition, companies must define their 2023 salary increase approach in the context of the competitiveness of their current salary levels and employee value proposition. Companies that adopt a skill-based compensation programme will help ensure they can continue to build future skills for their organisation's resilient workforce."

The survey further revealed that salary increases in 2022 varied across industries across the region, with the retail industry having the highest increases (6.5 percent), followed by technology and life sciences (6.1 percent) and financial institutions (5.9 percent). The ongoing technology and digital skills shortage across the region as a consequence of firms competing to accelerate transformation and drive their digital initiatives resulted in higher year on year increases in salaries and total compensation for technology and data analytics roles compared to others. However, with the recent reports of a potential global economic slowdown, firms are taking a cautious approach and focusing on salary increases for selected employee groups or levels as they navigate a volatile and uncertain environment.

Alina Cheng, senior consultant, Human Capital Solutions for southeast Asia at Aon said, "With the rise of fintech and digital banks in the region, roles in areas such as risk, compliance and talent acquisition are in demand. Firms are paying a premium to attract new talent at the junior and middle management levels for these roles. As a result, over the past two years, we have seen compensation structures shifting towards lesser variable and pay at risk and an increased focus on salaries.There is no one-size-fits-all approach for developing a salary increase strategy in a volatile environment. Employers must constantly analyse the market, study the available data and contextualise the unique circumstances of their industry and organisation to make better and more informed decisions."

Tropical Family Hideouts

Tropical Family Hideouts

Singapore is an excellent place for family outings. There are lots of things that appeals to all family members. You can visit one of the many museums or art galleries. You can take a walk, picnic in one of the many parks, or ride on the Singapore Flyer. If you're looking for something more active, you can go hiking or biking in the nature reserves or take a dip in one of the numerous swimming pools. Yes, no matter your interests, there's sure to be something for everyone in Singapore.

There's no reason your family should spend all their time packed in traffic while visiting Singapore. Instead, you can join an adventure to explore the best places to stay, eat and play in Singapore. Yes, discover great hideouts for fun family outings here. You can get the best fun family outings in these delightful hideouts. Whether you're looking for a place to escape the city's noises or just looking for fun and quality time to spend with the family, one of these places is guaranteed to tick the boxes. There are tons of fun family outings in Singapore. This includes golfing, driving fast, or enjoying the gifts of nature.

You might discover a fun and tropical family getaway in Singapore with fantastic hideaways and beachfront accommodation, all under one roof. Further, try to find unique hotels- hidden gems at great prices. Such activities can be full of adventure. One excellent idea is to discover an escape route that reveals the city's hidden gems. You're welcome to explore new places and expose your kids to awesome things here in the city. Ultimately, you'll take your family on a memorable journey through the family-friendly parks and museums; yes, treat your little ones on a fun world trip while in Singapore. Families are welcome to explore the great outdoors, relax and rejuvenate at one of these hidden gems.

Yes, whether it's a lazy morning at East Coast Park, a seaside stroll at Pulau Tekong or a countryside drive in Geylang, there are plenty of spots to choose from. A hideout, a retreat, and a getaway, Singapore features some of the world's top-rated family destinations that encourage social interaction and fun outings. Why not enjoy some time out with your family and friends at one of these hideouts? From nature treks to water sports, beach volleyball to photography, there's always something for everyone.

A fantastic adventure awaits you beneath Mother Nature's umbrella as you holiday at one of the Lonely Planet's top 10 Hideouts. Explore the lush forests, tranquil waterways and quaint villages that make up this tropical city-state. With its stunning landscapes and untamed wildlife, every hideaway is a unique experience for families looking for an adventure holiday or a romantic escape in Singapore. Many visitors have a memorable stay here.

Various hideouts in Singapore provide a unique and memorable experience for the whole family. Whether you're looking to spend a day at the beach or simply need a relaxing retreat within your city, these are your go-to destinations. For the best family getaways in Singapore, these hidden gems will take you away from the city and into the beautiful island's inner nature. Whether it's a picnic in a park, a hike through a national park, or just an easy day trip to nearby attractions - you'll keep your little ones happy and well-fed. Yes, are you travelling with the children? You can enjoy various activities and fun destinations that are suitable for kids of all ages.

On any weekend, the kids will be happy to find hidden activities around their neighbourhood. They can spend their entire day just meandering around and finding new things to do. Here are our time-tested tips: When you're out with your family in Singapore, you need to get back to nature and find the absolute place to stay. Start by checking out a list of great hideouts featuring everything, from new spots that pop up each year to relaxing locations to which you can take your kids. Singapore is a fantastic place to bring your family, friends and children to enjoy fun adventures on a vastly beautiful island. Yes, try Funjet's great hideouts for exciting fun at affordable prices.

Korean trending foreign language in Singapore

Korean trending foreign language in Singapore

What was thought as a passing trend, became a trendy and sensational niche with K-Wave becoming more popular amongst this generation. Sejong Korean Language School has gone beyond the hype to establish a systematic learning method for students to develop good foundation.

Sejong Korean Language School was founded by Ryan Kwak Seong Hoon, a native Korean, 10 years ago when the trend of K-Pop or the "Hallyu Wave" was on the rise. While the initial crowd of students were drawn to the Korean language because of K-Drama and K-Pop, reasons for learning the language now span much more than being able to understand movies and singing songs. Fluency in Korean language has since become a useful tool in serving professionals, businesses, and other industries in terms of facilitating international relations or to enhance one's personal skillsets.

The K-wave has become a tsunami with presence felt in almost every industry – from fashion to electronics, construction, beauty, media, to F&B. The K-Wave has grown beyond a trendy niche market to a mainstay in Singapore's economy and Korean language centres in Singapore have seen a steady uptick in demand for Korean language courses over the years. Sejong Korean Language School is one school that has enjoyed particular popularity with waitlist for new classes often more than a month long. The school titles itself one of the largest language schools in Singapore. With three campuses island-wide, over a thousand active students attending weekly on-campus and online classes, and an impressive list of corporate clients including local banks, law firms, airlines and MNCs.

Founder Ryan Kwak shared that while he is certainly grateful that the K-Wave has solidified its position as more than just a passing trend, he had in fact saw the relevancy of Korean language as having the potential to go beyond the K-Wave from the very beginning. Because of that vision, he took decisive steps to limit his school's reliance on the K-Wave. As early as 10 years ago, Ryan noted that many Korean language programmes promote their courses by marketing them as K-Pop Lyrics classes, or K-Drama classes. Instead, Ryan says he believed in the upcoming relevancy of the language itself. "I did not want to teach Korean language through song lyrics or drama subtitles. The grammar used there can be quite challenging for learners and should not be the starting point into the language. Students need to learn the language systematically to develop a good foundation. There is so much that Korean language and culture has to offer."

Ryan instead focused on developing Korean language courses that drew on what he saw as a rare advantage unique to him due to his life experiences. As a native Korean whose family migrated to Singapore at a young age, Ryan has studied at various International Schools in Singapore before transferring to a Singaporean local school. He believes that being a native Korean who is also familiar with how Singaporeans, and other non-native speakers of Korean language learn, gives him a one-of-a-kind edge in building and developing the most effective Korean language class.

"I have utmost faith in the course I developed and am still continuing to develop. I am always hopeful that people would see the value in the "best Korean course" for actually learning the language over a K-Pop or K-Drama centric course."

According to Ryan, despite his efforts to reduce the reliance of the school's courses from the K-Wave where possible, majority of his early batches of students were motivated to learn Korean because they were interested in K-Pop or Korean dramas. However, as the 5-star Google and Facebook reviews, and plethora of personal testimonials from their strong student community collectively attested to the quality of the school, learners with a wider variety of motivations started joining the school. The vision of developing a more in-depth Korean language course that was not directly related to the K-Wave gimmicks soon became a reality.

Now, only about half of the school's new students profess to learn Korean purely for interest. Every year, an increasing percentage claim to be learning for work, up-skilling purposes, or business related reasons. As the K-Wave evolves from "trend" to a market force to be reckoned with, picking up Korean language has never been more relevant. A casual verbal survey of the students in Sejong Korean Language School revealed the diversity of industries learning Korean is relevant to.

"We have students from big beauty MNCs, food importers, banks, law firms, entertainment firms, energy companies... Samsung, Hyundai, LG and Kia have always been well known, but now the Singaporeans know Etude House, Paris Baguette, even Ssang Yong, the construction company building our MRT lines... The story that surprised me was that a number of students from the fitness industry also shared that Seoul is the undisputed king of cross-fit in the region and that learning Korean is also relevant to those in the fitness line."

The relevancy of learning Korean language has also been recognized by the Singapore government in recent years, with the launch of a market access programme between the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore and South Korea. PM Lee Hsien Loong also previously announced that the Ministry of Education will be looking into offering Korean Language as a third language in local Singapore schools. Currently, Sejong Korean Language School is also an approved training provider by SkillsFuture Singapore, a government initiative to increase employability of Singaporeans.

Looking back, Ryan shares that, "even though it would have been easier, I'm glad we did not rely on the K-Wave in the beginning. Just like it is important for a student to start with a good foundation, it is important for a business to start with the right footing. We will continue putting in the effort to provide the best Korean language education possible to cater to all learners... K-Pop and K-Drama enthusiasts, and beyond that, the new generation of learners who learn Korean for its relevancy in today's society. As long as we have a solid programme, it does not matter what brought you to us."