SINGAPORE – Winding lines were seen at the Singapore Airlines (SIA) service center, and travel agencies were inundated with inquiries as Singaporeans rushed to plan their trip on Sunday, October 10.
The increase comes a day after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that travel restrictions would be further relaxed.
It was announced on Saturday that those vaccinated against Covid-19 can travel to Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the United States from the 19 October.
They will also be able to fly to South Korea from November 15.
But even as Singaporeans rushed to secure their travel itineraries, travel agents said many had also asked for more information on safe management practices in European countries – a reflection of the anxiety some have expressed. still as to the safety of going abroad during a pandemic.
Chan Brothers Travel spokesperson Jeremiah Wong said: “They asked if there are any destinations that have handled the pandemic better and if there are any that might be safer to travel. Some have also asked about the safe travel protocols Chan Brothers Travel has in place. “
Ms. Alicia Seah, spokesperson for Dynasty Travel, said she expects a significant recovery in travel by the first half of next year.
She added that some people may also wait until the initial spike in flight prices passes before confirming their travel plans.
The agencies said routes to South Korea appeared to be in high demand, possibly due to media interest there.
Checks on the SIA’s website have shown that while an economy class round trip to Seoul typically costs as little as $ 679, prices in November have jumped on some days to over $ 1,500.
Round-trip travel to Italy, the Netherlands and Spain cost around $ 960 for economy class seats.
But while demand is expected to increase in the coming weeks, travel agencies seem to be waiting to see if this demand is strong enough to justify an increase in staff.
Ms Kay Swee Pin, Managing Director of SA Tours, said she had only recalled a small team of 10 so far.
Mr. Wong said Chan Brothers Travel welcomes the positive outlook, but will have to see how the situation develops.
“As leisure tourism recovers cautiously, it is in our organization’s plan to monitor and adjust our workforce resources to better support the business in the future,” he said. declared.
“We believe travel professionals, who are more often avid travelers themselves, welcome the positive outlook we see and will be eager to come back and do what they are passionate about.”