Forming an air journey bubble with Singapore: Immediately after Hong Kong, which destination could be next?

SINGAPORE: Countries these types of as Thailand, South Korea and Japan could likely husband or wife Singapore in setting up air journey bubbles in upcoming, although any choice is probably contingent on how successfully COVID-19 is managed in people international locations rather than the thrust for tourism receipts, mentioned vacation gurus. 

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Singapore-Hong Kong air vacation bubble will start on Nov 22, with an original one flight a day into each and every city with 200 travellers every single way. This will increase to two flights a working day from Dec 7.

Travellers, who will have to check damaging for COVID-19, have to choose the dedicated flights but will have no constraints on their travel function. They do not have to adhere to a managed itinerary and will not be topic to quarantine or keep-property notice.

Singapore, Hong Kong air journey bubble to start on Nov 22 with 200 travellers just about every way per day

This arrangement sets up a likely product for foreseeable future air vacation bubbles.

“We are proceeding cautiously, but if the arrangement is productive and the pandemic proceeds to remain less than manage on both equally sides, we can glance ahead to expanding the bubble to much more flights, and with any luck ,, to a lot more destinations as nicely,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Fb post pursuing the announcement.

“Travellers will have to get made use of to new rules and COVID-19 swab exams – all section and parcel of the new standard.”

Speaking to CNA, Ngee Ann Polytechnic senior lecturer in tourism Michael Chiam mentioned nations around the world that could eventually established up a travel bubble for leisure will probably be individuals that presently have environmentally friendly and speedy lane arrangements with Singapore for necessary enterprise and formal vacation. 

These include South Korea, Japan and China, he noted.

“We have been given people from these international locations and it allowed us to assess the intensity of infection there as perfectly as their efficiency in an infection manage to make an informed choice as to no matter whether these international locations should really be provided in the vacation bubble for leisure travellers,” he added.

SINGAPORE: Rapidly lane, environmentally friendly lane, air journey bubble: What you have to have to know about Singapore’s COVID-19 vacation steps

Mr Kevin Wee, a senior lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic’s Faculty of Enterprise Administration, reported it is “hard” to forecast the upcoming place to have a bilateral journey bubble arrangement with Singapore.

Two vital things in the Singapore-Hong Kong journey bubble were being the successful handle of the virus and the capability to perform successful negotiations, he pointed out.

“In that exact vein, international locations that have pre-existing arrangements with Singapore these types of as those with reciprocal environmentally friendly lane arrangements like Japan could have a higher opportunity to variety a travel bubble with Singapore,” he said.

Read through: COVID-19: What is protecting against nations around the world lifting border restrictions to travellers from Singapore?


Gurus CNA spoke to claimed that tourism receipts would not be the main consideration when it arrives to a final decision on regardless of whether to variety a travel bubble with a particular region.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, the prime a few marketplaces in 2019 based mostly on tourism receipts were mainland China (S$4,124 million), Indonesia (S$3,704 million) and India (S$1,624 million), contributing 41 per cent of general tourism receipts. Japan rated fifth, South Korea ninth and Vietnam 10th.

This expenditure excludes paying out on sightseeing, enjoyment and gaming.

Changi Airport tourists covid-19 masks

Travellers, carrying experience masks at the departure corridor of Changi Global Airport in Singapore on Feb 27, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

“Singapore, like international locations all over the world, is treading diligently close to the world wide pandemic. The important factor for selecting a further place to variety a vacation bubble with really should be dependent on the chosen country’s capacity to deal with and minimise the spread of COVID-19 when their citizens journey into Singapore,” explained Mr Wee.

“Conversely, the nation will also assess Singapore’s ability to consist of COVID-19 inside our place, just before agreeing to the vacation bubble arrangements for Singaporeans to enter their place. Hence, security is the vital consideration, and tourism receipts could not be as crucial in this new norm.”

Go through: Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble: What you need to have to know

Mr Christopher Khoo, the handling director for intercontinental tourism consultancy Masterconsult Services, advised CNA that Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all “deserve to be viewed as” for inclusion in vacation bubbles with Singapore in the upcoming.

He pointed out the major requirements guiding these decisions would be “reciprocal believe in” in the general public health methods of the location that a single types a journey bubble with.

“(For) Singapore and Hong Kong, equally functions have proven good results in managing (the pandemic), and have got mechanisms in cutting down (the sum of air visitors) if important – if there is a flare up (in instances). There is have faith in on each sides, simply because … it is a public wellbeing concern – it can be not so much I want to open up up my economic climate,” he discussed.

Hong Kong has weathered the pandemic better than most, with more than 5,400 scenarios so much and about 100 linked fatalities. On the other hand, it noted 23 new infections on Thursday (Nov 12), the most considering the fact that Sep 20.

“The preference of spouse region would seriously be – do I have confidence in their method? Is there adequate enterprise, or is there plenty of conversation previously in area, formerly created, that will justify MFA (Ministry of International Affairs) or whoever opening up a dialogue and chatting,” said Mr Khoo.

Commentary: Masks could be secret behind Vietnam’s COVID-19 accomplishment

ASEAN nations could be probable options for Singapore to variety vacation bubbles with, mentioned gurus. Vietnam for one particular, could be an option, explained Mr Khoo.

“Naturally supplied their very good point out of COVID preparedness or COVID suppression, Vietnam would be a probable preference incredibly shortly,” he said. “The (customer) numbers may perhaps not be as excellent as some other ASEAN places, but they give us self esteem.”

Vietnam has been lauded for its response to the pandemic, with the region of about 97 million recording 35 COVID-19 fatalities so considerably.

Ar existing, Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to travellers from Vietnam, Brunei, New Zealand, Australia and mainland China.

Contrary to the fast or eco-friendly lane preparations, this features all types of short-expression travel, which includes for leisure. Guests have to apply for an Air Travel Pass and need to have remained in the departing nation for 14 consecutive times prior to arrival in Singapore.

New Zealand and Australia could also be likely partners for a vacation bubble down the line, mentioned specialists. However, these countries have been far more “conservative” in opening borders to foreign travelers, reported Dr Wong.

“Australia and New Zealand are also in my prediction, but it appears to be like they much more conservative in reopening their borders,” she included. “Although they would like travelers to bring them far more GDP, higher GDP but then they have interior methods, so it’s okay (for them),” she stated.

Examine: COVID-19: Singapore to raise border limits for guests from mainland China and Australia’s Victoria condition from Nov 6

Thailand is also a probability, stated Dr Wong. “Their range of cases are not that high, (and) are pretty steady. Thailand is also in extremely urgent need to receive extra travelers,” she additional.

In accordance to the latest reviews, Thailand has been in talks with China to form a journey bubble.

It also has a Particular Tourist Visa programme which lets vacationers to enter the country beneath particular conditions. Beneath the plan, which was initial accredited by the Thai Cupboard in September, international holidaymakers who commit to a remain of at the very least 30 times are issued 90-day visas that can be renewed twice.

Immediately after arriving, they have to remain in government-approved quarantine at a hotel or healthcare facility for 14 times and display affirmation that they have manufactured preparations for very long-expression accommodation. They ought to also have exclusive insurance policy guidelines and go through pre-departure tests for the virus.

On the chance of an air travel bubble among Singapore and China, experts claimed it is a probability, but provided the country’s big domestic tourism marketplace, it may not need to have worldwide travellers as urgently as other international locations.

“I believe there is the possibility but they really do not require us … their domestic tourism has currently recovered (to) pre-COVID (degrees). So even if they don’t have international tourists, they are executing good. They can continue to discuss to various nations, but it is not their to start with precedence,” said Dr Wong King Yin, who is a electronic and tourism advertising lecturer at Nanyang Technological College.

China Golden Week Travel

China Golden Week Travel

Chinese domestic tourism observed a sturdy rebound about the Golden Week holiday break previous month. Tourism web-sites ended up visited by 637 million domestic holidaymakers above the 8-working day National Day getaway that started out Oct 1, 79 for every cent of past year’s total, in accordance to China’s Ministry of Lifestyle and Tourism in a statement.

“They have actually proven that domestic tourism can start off to restart. And I see genuinely no cause why they are not likely to go full steam in advance,” additional Mr Khoo.

“(The) COVID-19 (pandemic) is going to see the strengthening of China’s internal domestic tourism … Now, Singaporeans into China is such a minuscule variety. So it genuinely does not participate in a portion at all. But China’s opening up for Singaporeans to go in is actually component of their total campaign to open up up to trusted partners.”


When there is certainly demand for vacation, industry experts famous that lots of continue to have a “wait around and see” perspective, provided the common mother nature of the pandemic.

“There will always be a team completely ready to travel as they may well be bored being at residence. That claimed, most will be careful and will very likely get a wait and see attitude to assess if it is harmless to travel, based on the experience of other travellers,” said Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Dr Chiam.

Study: No ‘huge increase’ in demand envisioned from Singapore-Hong Kong air journey bubble, say aviation analysts

Mr Wee pointed out that the hunger for journey in Singapore has constantly been potent and continues to be.

“Overseas outings have practically normally been found as an integral aspect of lots of Singaporeans’ holiday getaway options,” he claimed. “Having said that, quite a few travellers are nevertheless careful and will choose for private team tours, with a desire for considerably less crowded resorts when leisure journey resumes.”

Even though the need to vacation remains, the involved expenses with traveling abroad could also temper outbound demand from customers, mentioned Dr Wong.

“In the earlier when Singaporeans vacation to Asian nations around the world, it’s much more economical than (it is) now for the reason that the flight tickets are significantly far more high-priced (now) and also the price tag for all the checks that you require … for COVID-19 is very expensive,” she explained.

“Unquestionably, the desire for outbound vacation … is listed here. Numerous persons genuinely will need to escape from their possess area but then it is just that they will not know where by to go. They have nowhere to go.”

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