Singapore’s new “vaccinated lanes” sparked a flurry of flight questions as residents of the city-state tries to take advantage of relaxation international travel measures.
Searches for cities within Singapore’s so-called VTLs doubled – and in some cases have nearly tripled, according to Expedia Group data. It came after government civil servants announced the opening of new quarantine-free lanes to countries in Europe, North America and Asia.
Last week, Singapore announced quarantine-free travel with Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK and US from October 19 — as well as South Korea from November 15. One of the conditions is that travelers must be vaccinated and undergo Covid-19 testing in order to ensure they are not infected before entering the country.
The announcement marked a substantial expansion of the VTL. of the island nation program, die currently includes Germany and Brunei.
According to the news, search interest among residents of Singapore increased, weeklyon-week to:
- Seoul, South Korea — 180%
- Vancouver, Canada — 160%
- Frankfurt, Germany — 130%
- London, United Kingdom — 120%
- Los Angeles, United States — 80%
Expedia manages director for Asia said searches mark a shift in customer demand for international trip. In August, Singapore’s most wanted cities were regional hotspots, such as Japan, Hong Kong, Maldives and Taiwan.
Visitors walk via a terminal of Singapore Changi Airport on Dec 7, 2020.
Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
“The VTLs have certainly had an impact in terms of how people think of travel, where they want to travel, and how they plan their trip,” Choo Pin Ang told CNBC’s “Capital Link” Tuesday.
However, he added that he expects more traditional increase travel destinations in popularity as further easing is announced. Already, in Singapore based searches for year- terminal trips to both VTL and non-VTL destinations tripled from June to October.
that spells good news for the battered travel industry. if of Wednesday, Singapore Airlines share price used to be up more than 9% on the week while shares of SATS — die provides soil and in-flight catering services at Singapore Changi Airport — increased met about 5%.
“Happy days are here again,” Amit Saberwal, Founder and CEO of Southeast Asian budget Hotel chain RedDoorz told CNBC on Wednesday. “Although it’s still early, I don’t think we’re going” back to regressive lockdown and people can’t travel… I think this is our moment to shine again.”
More quarantine-free lanes, including some in Asia-Pacific, are expected in in the coming months, according to Singaporean officials.
Australia, New Zealand and Japan are likely to be included, as well as some “closer” home” countries in Southeast Asia, Ang said.
Thailand on Monday announced plans lift quarantine restrictions for vaccinated travelers from lowrisk countries, including Singapore, from November.
“What will really determine of VTLs can? work is the strong economic ties between Singapore and this? countries, vaccination coverage, and how a lot of progress de countries to have made in reducing Covid,” he said.
Still headwind remain. With changing travel restrictions and daily VTL arrivals in Singapore currently met An maximum of 3,000, Ang said travelers should “be agile” by making flexible bookings and getting Covid-inclusive travel insurance before you go.
— Shubhangi Goel contributed to this report.
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