When the Circuit Breaker came, everyone was thinking, “Okay, once a vaccine is found, we’d all be back to normal and influencers would be posting their trips every week again.”
As time passes, we got to know that recovery from the economic damage done by the coronavirus is indeed not irreversible, but it’ll take time.
Lots of time.
For example, for the airline industry, it’s projected that it can only fully recover to pre-COVID-19 numbers from 2024—even if a vaccine is found next year.
This is because the damage done now would have many hidden repercussions that we might not see; for example, many companies have folded, leading to less business travel. Also, with more people losing their jobs or suffering a pay cut, they might put vacations as the least priority.
At this moment, the worst-hit sector is the tourism sector, and unfortunately, that, too, would suffer the same fate: recovery isn’t going to be fast and furious because not everyone is Nas Daily’s girlfriend.
STB Chief Says Tourism Recovery Could Take Up to 5 Years As 2020 is Just The Beginning
In a virtual roundtable by the Singapore Tourism Board’s chief executive, Mr Keith Tan, he announced the bleak outlook, saying, “It will take many years, possibly three… to five years for… international visitor arrivals to return to 2019 pre-Covid-19 levels.”
This means that the Merlion might be vomiting alone for quite a while until 2023 or 2025.
Well, at least air travel is projected to recover even earlier.
He added, “We need to be prepared for travellers who are looking for more exclusive, smaller scale or special experiences that are hard to find elsewhere, because we believe that in the years after Covid-19, people will not be travelling so frequently.”
In other words, be more competitive because everyone’s now eyeing for that precious tourism dollars.
With more countries opening up or setting up travel bubbles, it might seem like we’re finally in the last lap of this pandemic, and attractions no longer need to retrench more people.
No. This is just the beginning.
The chairman of the Association of Singapore Attractions, Dr Kevin Cheong, said, “If you think the light at the end of the tunnel is around the corner, this is not a corner. It is a huge turnpike.”
Don’t bother Googling what a turnpike is: just think of it a PIE with lots of ERPs. In other words, you’re now at Jurong and are on the way to Changi Airport.
There’s a challenge posed by the STB chief: businesses shouldn’t go into hibernation because once the situation normalises, which might be 2123 I don’t know, Singapore would need to be ready.
To do that, they’ve to be creative by coming out with new revenue streams during this long downtown, and some might need to reposition themselves.
Singapore Giving $100 to Singaporeans for Domestic Tourism
To soften the impact, Ah Gong is giving every Singaporean adult a $100 voucher to be spent in the tourism sector.
It will be valid from December this year to June next year.
But of course, with this latest outlook about the recovery, one can only wonder if this is enough.
Maybe if more people share this article, we’d get $1,000 a month of vouchers for 5 years? #neversaynever