Travel agencies and online booking sites see huge increase in interest in travel between Germany and Singapore

  • Vaccinated travelers from Germany will be allowed to enter Singapore without an isolation order from September 8
  • Some travel groups and booking sites have seen an increase in inquiries since the August 19 announcement.
  • People don’t rush to make reservations, they noted
  • They expect pleasure travel to pick up by the end of the year

SINGAPORE – Since the announcement that fully vaccinated travelers from Germany will soon be able to enter Singapore without needing to be placed in a stay-at-home order, some travel agencies and online booking sites have seen an increase in inquiries, a website seeing a jump of up to 70% in the past 24 hours.

Travel hungry people may have been thrilled with the news, but it has yet to translate into flight or tour bookings, agencies said TODAY.

Ms Mae Cheah, president of the Asia branch of tour operator Trafalgar Travel, said she had received around 50-60% more requests from people planning to travel to Germany compared to the previous week, although bookings were not have not yet started to arrive.

The company is “ready to welcome customers” and expects travel demand to “come back with a vengeance” as many Singaporeans have not taken an overseas vacation in the past 18 months.

Travelers from Singapore were able to enter Germany without quarantine, but it was Thursday August 19 that Singapore announced it would open its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from Germany from September 8 without being necessary to serve a notice of stay at home.

This is provided that they meet a set of criteria, including taking designated flights that only serve vaccinated travelers without transiting elsewhere. They will also need to undergo testing after arrival.

With the move, pleasure travel between the two countries will soon be able to resume without the need for long periods of isolation or quarantine.

Starting next month, seven designated flights between Germany and Singapore each week carrying only fully vaccinated passengers will be operated by Singapore Airlines and German airline Lufthansa.

Ms Lavinia Rajaram, communications manager for Expedia’s Asia-Pacific branch, said the latest developments have led to renewed interest in travel between the two countries.

The booking site saw a 70% increase in searches for trips between Germany and Singapore in the past 24 hours. Even so, Singapore is not a top 10 leisure destination for German travelers listed on the site.

On the flip side, Expedia has seen searches for travel from Singapore to destinations in Germany grow nearly 10 times the average over the past seven days.

Ms Sarah Wan, managing director of Klook, said the booking site also observed traffic quintupled for articles on tourism activities in Germany after the announcement, compared to the previous day.

SINGAPORE TRAVELERS ‘STILL CAREFUL’

On why there hasn’t been a simultaneous surge in bookings along with the increase in searches and inquiries, Ms Wan said Singaporeans can always take a cautious approach because they don’t know travel guidelines and Covid-19 regulations that differ from place to place.

“Some may also be initially deterred by the multiple Covid-19 tests they have to pass.

“We believe that interest will increase towards the end of the year, once Singaporeans familiarize themselves with the rules and guidelines and gain confidence,” she said.

Okay, Ms Alicia Seah, Director of Public Relations and Communications at Dynasty Travel, said registrations for tour packages would not come so quickly as travelers are still reviewing the costs and paperwork needed to comply with the rules. of the country of destination. .

She predicts that leisure travel will likely resume between November and December.

INTEREST IN HONG KONG AND BRUNEI

Under the relaxed border measures, fully vaccinated travelers from Brunei will also be able to enter Singapore from September 8 without also having to serve a stay-at-home notice.

However, travel agencies and booking sites reported mixed interest in Brunei among leisure travelers.

Expedia reported a more than 300% increase in interest in travel between Singapore and Brunei compared to the past seven days.

However, the country remains an unpopular travel destination among Dynasty Travel customers. Ms Seah said this could be because the temperature and environment in Brunei is similar to Singapore and therefore vacationers do not want to go there.

Brunei currently has strict entry and exit restrictions for all travelers. They must apply for a permit before entering and those allowed to travel to Brunei will need to be quarantined at designated hotels on arrival, with the quarantine period depending on the assessment by Brunei authorities.

From August 21, border restrictions will also be lifted for all travelers from Hong Kong and Macau regardless of their vaccination status.

They will need to apply for an Air Travel Pass to enter Singapore and they do not need to serve a stay at home notice when they are here, although they will still need to undergo a polymerase chain reaction test upon arrival. at the airport.

Vaccinated travelers from Singapore entering Hong Kong will still need to serve a 14-day quarantine, as Singapore is considered a medium-risk location for infection there.

Tour groups and booking sites approached TODAY saw most Hong Kongers wanting to come to Singapore.

Expedia saw an increase of almost 450% in searches for travel between Hong Kong and Macau and Singapore, Ms. Rajaram said.

Ms Millie Sze, Head of Overseas Tours for Ace Tours and Travel, said that so far it has been Hong Kong permanent residents living in Singapore who are making inquiries because they wish to return to their hometown. ‘origin.

“I have had about three such calls since last night asking if it was possible to book a flight there,” she said.

Comments are closed.