You’ve heard about Singapore and China opening a fast lane between the countries.
And you’re wondering: can we start travelling again?
Can we go to Japan and see the hot springs again?
Unfortunately, not this year.
And I’m not the one saying it, it’s the experts.
Experts Say Overseas Vacations Not Likely Even on Early 2021 & Suggest We Go Sentosa Instead
Professor Teo Yik Ying, the dean of the National University of Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, is of the opinion that travel for leisure (basically, holidaying in other countries) won’t be possible anytime soon.
The reason is, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even if Singapore is willing, other countries are more likely to “play it safe”.
And looking at Australia, where they almost eliminated Covid-19 but started reporting a resurgence of Covid-19 outbreaks in New South Wales and Melbourne, it’s likely that most countries are not going to open themselves up to Covid-19 again.
You got to remember, a lockdown doesn’t just cost the people their sanity, it cost the economy tons of money too.
“So, when it comes to mass market tourism, regrettably, I think we will not be able to travel out of Singapore for the foreseeable future.”
If you really want a holiday, he suggests a staycation at Sentosa or Pulau Ubin.
*Cat’s annoyed stare*
No, he’s not being sarcastic.
Here are some numbers for your reference:
In the first quarter of 2019, tourism receipts (i.e. money spent by tourists) were $6.5 billion. In the same quarter this year, it’s dropped to $4 billion.
The numbers for April and May are even worse—the visitor arrivals, comparing April 2019 to April 2020, dropped by a whopping…100%. April 2020 saw only 750 visitor arrivals.
There’s some improvement in May 2020. Comparing May 2019 to May 2020, the drop is…99.9%.
The June figures aren’t out yet, but I’m guessing there should be some improvement. Maybe a drop of 99.8% instead?
At the end of the day, what these numbers are saying is very simple: the tourism industry in Singapore is f***ed.
But is the entire industry going to die without a fight?
When COVID-19 was still in its infant stage, a task force to lay out a recovery plan for the tourism industry was already formed.
Known as the Tourism Recovery Action Task Force, it’s formed by the Government and comprises people from both the public and private sector.
The task force was announced back on 11 February 2020, and back then, their work “includes identifying opportunities arising from the nCoV crisis, driving and implementing measures to instil confidence in Singapore’s tourism establishments, as well as co-creating and initiating recovery plans.”
Now that everyone knows tourism is dead (for the time being), Singapore is turning its attention inwards.
Instead of trying to get ang mohs from the US to escape from their country, we’re now asking people in Singapore to do it so that Merlion would still feel useful and continue to vomit.
Sounds chim? We simplify it for you.
Basically, their job is to get people in Singapore interested in checking out the Singapore River and spending money for boat rides instead of going to Thailand to check out the floating market.
Their focus is on three areas:
- Partnering local communities to help locals discover hidden gems
- Curating precinct itineraries to create authentic experiences for locals
- Collaborating with hotels, tour operators, attractions and precincts to develop quality experiences and attractive promotions
And before you say, aiya, Singapore boring lah. Where got things to explore?
Check out this video we made for Yishun, I guarantee that if you can get over your irrational fear of Yishun, you’ll probably want to check them out:
Some of the programmes have already started, like Singapore’s very own paranormal tour:
Yup, it’s official: Singaporeans really DGAF about ghosts.
You can check out all the “packages” or “bundles” in the Visit Singapore website, which used to be for tourists but is now catered for us.
The Singapore government has thrown in a whopping $45 million to the SingaporeRediscovers campaign and you know what that means? Deals and promotions for people in Singapore.
You can find out more about Singapoliday here.
Just make sure to keep yourself safe while enjoying yourself, yeah?