Globally, international tourist arrivals dropped an average of 74 per cent in 2020 due to COVID-19. After almost two years of the tourism industry, and many others, grappling with the effects of this pandemic, travel appetite seems to finally see improvement. Already, domestic travels within the USA, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and more have been encouraged by their respective governments.
Meanwhile, in tiny Singapore, the government has also enticed its citizens to consume domestically with the Singapore Rediscover vouchers, which reimburse fees for local attractions and activities. As we move into slightly more than 80 per cent vaccinated population and Vaccinated Travel Lanes being announced, people in Singapore look ready to travel with a vengeance.
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It's still a great way to fly
Flag carrier Singapore Airlines has announced that vaccinated travellers can enjoy quarantine-free travel between Singapore and seven European countries (Denmark, France, Germany*, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom), Canada, and the United States starting 19 October 2021, as well as South Korea starting 15 November 2021.
Travel from Singapore to these countries can be on any Singapore Airlines flight, while travel from these countries to Singapore must be on designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights. Travelling to multiple VTL countries within the same trip is allowed. Travellers will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination and take two Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests when flying into Singapore. Short-term visitors and Long-Term Pass holders need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) to board the VTL flights to Singapore, which can be done online.
...and an even better way to fly from Los Angeles
If you're based in Los Angeles, Singapore Airlines has partnered with Golden Door, known for its wellness programming, to curate wellness into designated SQ37 slights. Announced on 12 October and launching in January, travellers on 17 hours Los Angeles-to-Singapore flights will be enjoying new menus, in-flight exercises, and sleep education. These services will expand to nonstop flights to Singapore from San Francisco, New York JFK, and Seattle moving forward.
It's not just a fluke overload on Singapore Airlines website. Many of us may complain about opening up the country too fast, but the data does not lie.
Airbnb, too, saw a rapid surge in searches by Singaporean travellers to all 11 international Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) destinations over Friday and the weekend after the Government announced the expansion of the scheme to include nine new countries. Specifically, searches for Airbnb accommodation in Korea, Denmark and Italy saw a significant spike.
Here are the most searched international destinations by Singaporean guests, in order:
Even though vaccinated travel lanes means slightly more freedom for travellers, there are still plenty of regulations to take note of, such as PCR tests before and after travels in both your originating and landing countries. Also, don't forget your vaccine passport if you're one of those who have snagged a ticket to any of the VTL countries!