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Singapore – Hong Kong Bookings Break a Record

News It looks like hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore are going to have visitors during this Christmas. On October 15, Singapore and Hong Kong agreed to open a bilateral Air Travel Bubble (ATB) that allows the two territories to receive leisure tourists starting from November. The announcement attracted much attention, and bookings immediately went up.

There was virtually non-existent demand for flights between Singapore and Hong Kong since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but flight searches skyrocketed to 50% of the 2019 level. Hotel bookings recover slower, currently at 30% of the last year’s level. As expected the Christmas holiday season is the center of travelers’ attention. The bookings for flights and hotels in Hong Kong are the heaviest for the weeks of 10th, 17th, and 24th December, with December 18 – 25 being the peak time to travel. This is not surprising as people try to visit their friends and families on Christmas Eve.

It looks like Hong Kong hotels, restaurants, and retailers are going to benefit from the Air Travel Bubble more than their counterparts located in Singapore. Based on the first bookings, the direction from Singapore to Hong Kong is significantly more popular than from Hong Kong to Singapore. The bookings to Hong Kong are three times higher than in the opposite direction.

It became impossible to travel to Hong Kong and Singapore in spring 2020 – the two places announced the complete closure of their borders for all foreigners on March 23. As traveling to virtually any location became impossible, people had to stay at home and forget about traveling. This is one more reason why people are so enthusiastic about this opportunity to visit Hong Kong or Singapore.

The launch of the first Air Travel Bubble is very important as this is the first attempt to allow international leisure travel in the region. The skyrocketing demand for bookings only proves that people want to travel and are ready to travel if governments lift their restrictions and air carriers with hoteliers can offer a safe environment for their customers. For tourism-related companies, this is a sign of hope that they to continue their business and become profitable again. The establishment of the Singapore – Hong Kong travel bubble is the first step in the reopening of the borders. New territories may be added in the near future if this initiative proves to be safe and successful.


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