Friday, 3 July 2020

Singapore plans to re-open to travellers

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 Singapore’s tourism industry has been one of the most adversely impacted sectors, with the cessation of inbound and outbound travel due to travel restrictions and popular tourist attractions shutting down due to social distancing and circuit breaker measures.

The tourism sector was among the earliest impacted as well, starting from late December itself, due to the fact that the majority of the tourists in Singapore are Chinese nationals, who were bound by lockdown early on. The reopening of its border has started on a limited scale through green lane arrangements with China, focussing on essential business and official travel to support its economic recovery, critical services, and global supply chains.

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Singapore Airlines has also resumed flights to several destinations in June and July, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Christchurch, and Melbourne. The airline will be flying to 27 cities in these two months. This is the first step towards gradually restarting air travel, and adjustments will be made as the COVID-19 situation evolves in Singapore and around the world.

Tourism Recovery Task Force

The Singapore government has formed a Tourism Recovery Action Task Force (TRAC) to lay out long-term plans and strategies for the recovery and rejuvenation of tourism in Singapore.

As of 2019, Singapore was the 5th most visited place in the world. The Singapore Tourism Board maintains that the recovery for tourism will take time and international travel will not return to pre-pandemic levels any time soon.

India continued to be among the top 5 countries visiting Singapore, contributing over 1 million visitors annually for the 5th consecutive year. This increase is likely attributed to increased flight connectivity and heightened travel demand.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB), expects a drop of about 30% in visitor arrivals in 2020, with a loss of about 20,000 international tourists per day.

Tourism Recovery Plan

The Singapore government has allocated $90 million in special support funds for tourism in the budget, and the STB has also announced its specialised COVID-19 Recovery Plan. A $20 million fund has been set as part of the Marketing Partnership Programme, which aims to support marketing initiatives of hotels, attractions, travel agents, and the MICE sector thereby driving Singapore as the destination of choice for business events and boost tourist demand upon market recovery.

via Lonely Planet India

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