Interview: Singapore

OTDYKH Leisure team launches new interview series with heads of international tourism boards on their experience, forecasts, recent updates and tips during forced isolation.

As part of our interview series, Ms. Melissa Jane Thompson, Area Director, Eastern Europe, Singapore Tourism Board, shared good news with our team. Singapore announced gradual reopening of the borders. Starting on June 2, 2020, transit passengers are allowed to pass through Changi Airport. Other measures include “green lane arrangements”, a “fast lane” arrangement between Singapore and China etc. Read the interview below to get first-hand information on Singapore’s post-coronavirus tourism recovery program and measures.

In what format do you and your colleagues continue to work?

We are all currently working from home and we keep connected with weekly team calls!

It’s important now not to cut off communication with partners and clients. How do you continue promoting your destination in a situation where borders are closed and work is remote? Could you share some advice?

We find this period an even more important time to keep connected with our partners and let them feel confident about returning to Singapore after borders are open. We want to be transparent and we share openly with our partners about the COVID-19 situation in Singapore. We also regularly inform them about the various measures put in place such as SG Clean, an initiative that was launched to raise the hygiene standards and transform cleanliness level of public spaces, to keep our partners assured about traveling to Singapore.

We have a series of webinars involving our Singapore stakeholders to provide them an opportunity to engage with Russian trade especially since all our usual face-to-face business development activities and roadshows have been paused.

Forecasts are now made very carefully, but still... According to your assessment, when do you expect tourist flow recovery, including from Russia?

Singapore will be gradually re-opening our borders to allow safe travel for foreigners entering Singapore. As the global situation remain volatile, this will be done in a careful manner with the necessary precautions and safeguards. We are currently exploring the possibility of piloting green lane arrangements with a few countries assessed to be at equivalent or lower risk of community transmissions as Singapore, for which essential travel in limited numbers and with safeguards, could be conducted safely. Singapore and China will be launching a “fast lane” arrangement in June to facilitate essential travel for business and official purposes.

From 2 June 2020 onwards, Singapore will be gradually allowing travellers to transit through Changi Airport. This is part of our strategy to gradually re-open air transport whilst ensuring sufficient safeguards for safe travel.

We will continue to keep you updated when we have more details.