Recent data released by United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) revealed that Malaysians love to travel with preference for destinations within Southeast Asia and closer to home, such as Singapore and Thailand.
The data, mined from the spending patterns of all UOB Malaysia personal credit card members, showed that Malaysians spent more than RM700 million on holidays in 2015. This is an increase of more than 9% over the same period in 2014 and is one of the highest percentage increases across all spend categories which include insurance premiums, retail, petrol and groceries.
Singapore topped the list of travel destinations, followed by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Thailand. This is the second year in a row that Singapore and Thailand have appeared as two of the top five most popular travel destinations.
Ronnie Lim, Head of Personal Financial Services, UOB Malaysia, said that Malaysia’s growing affluence and better connectivity across Southeast Asia are driving the penchant for travel among Malaysians.
“The growing affluence among the Malaysian middle class and increased connectivity through the rise in the number of regional low-cost airlines since the past few years have made travel popular among Malaysians. It is not surprising that Singapore remains a top destination for Malaysians given how accessible it is and how similar the two cultures are. UOB Malaysia has responded to this demand for travel by introducing the UOB PRVI Miles card, offering regional privileges to our cardmembers,” said Lim.
Launched in July 2015, the UOB PRVI Miles credit card offers a range of travel-related benefits for Malaysians. For every ringgit spent overseas, cardmembers are rewarded with five UniRinggit points, which can be redeemed for air miles with more than 60 partner airlines.
Cardmembers also enjoy a wide range of discounts and promotions with online travel merchants such as Agoda and Expedia, as well as fashion, dining and hotel benefits at thousands of merchants across Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.