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Coronavirus Travel Technology

How have people's tech and travel habits changed during the coronavirus pandemic?


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

March 27, 2020 | 4 min read

As more people start working from home and practice social distancing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, their technology usage and travel habits have seen major changes.


95% of people said they have purchased something online in the last two weeks.

According to Statista, strict travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine periods, and total lockdown in countries around APAC and globally mean that 25% of the world’s population is under lockdown.

The biggest lockdown is currently being enforced in India, where 1.3 billion people have been ordered to stay inside for 21 days.

This means 45% of people in Asia Pacific said they were playing mobile games multiple times per day and 68% of people said they are playing new games on their smartphone. In total, 44% of people said they are playing mobile games daily.

When it comes to e-commerce, 95% of people said they have purchased something online in the last two weeks and 46% say they will shift more purchases online.

This is according to a Coronavirus Impact Survey by mobile ad platform AdColony, which surveyed 2000 people across APAC (including Australia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and more). Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 75 and were typically aged 25 to 54.

There is also a shift in content consumption patterns with 75% of the Singaporeans and this is consistent with an uptick in ad impression volumes observed in this region.

According to IAS, 91% of Singaporean consumers are actively seeking out coronavirus news and content online while 87% of consumers are consuming more news generally because of the evolving coronavirus situation.

When it comes to favourability, just over-one third of Singaporean consumers believe that the appropriateness of coronavirus ad adjacency “depends on the brand”, and this makes sense.

Specifically, Singaporean consumers most want to see health/pharma, government, and educational ads in coronavirus adjacencies while they least want to see Travel, Food/Beverage, and Finance brands alongside this same type of content.

When it comes to travel, Singaporean hoteliers turned to promote staycations in early March. This worked well with families who were looking for something to do with their kids during the March school holidays, without leaving the country.

Singaporeans were also encouraged by the government and by local hotels and attractions to do staycations.

According to travel data-driven platform Sojern, the price drops from hoteliers and government encouragement were effective because of the dramatic rise in hotel searches from within Singapore. Additionally, it noticed a particularly strong spike on March 18 and 19, the day that Malaysia’s borders were locked down, and thousands of Malaysian workers were suddenly stranded in Singapore.

This sparked a significant influx of last-minute hotel searches as Singapore companies worked with their government to house thousands of affected employees in hotels until at least March 31.

As restrictions preventing international travel increase almost on a daily basis, Singaporeans completing hotel searches in March are looking for staycations in March, April, and May.

There are a big year-over-year increase and a strong indication that the people have confidence in their safety within Singapore and are eager to return to life as normal and plan vacations.

The Drum previously looked at how media buyers are adapting to the ‘homebound economy’ as marketers are rethinking budgets and redeploying their resources.

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