Probably the biggest news this week has to be Singapore Airlines’ decision to drop the ‘Flight to Nowhere’ Program after an internal review. This came after the public outcry on the environmental concerns that the flights might incur. According to the airline, the results of a market study and comprehensive review which has considered factors such as Environmental Implications, Financial Viability, and the Attractiveness of the initiatives, has given way to the new approach “Discover Your Singapore Airlines” program.
The flights were initially planned for October 2020 but have now been replaced with limited plane dining services, tours, and home food delivery. This new program will include tours of their training facilities and the delivery of their first class and business class meals.
Tourism Malaysia is considering travel bubbles to reopen cross-border tourism for leisure starting sometime in the first quarter of 2021. The decision of the implementation was made to help the tourism industry that has been hit drastically by the global pandemic. The said travel bubbles are set to include the neighboring ASEAN countries which are Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Currently, Malaysia and Singapore have plans for a Reciprocal Green Lane and Periodic Commuting Arrangement but these are only for essential business and official purposes only.
Japan has taken an interesting approach to the opening of its borders. Starting in October, Japan plans to reopen its borders for International travel but only long-stay foreigners with permission to stay for more than three months are allowed in. This goes to say that the reopening of borders does not include tourists. In a report, the government plans to prioritize the entry of people traveling from countries with a limited spread of the virus.
The reopening will accommodate essential and business travelers as well as students and educators. A requirement for all the phases will be that everyone will have to test negative for COVID-19 and are likely to be required for 14-day self-isolation. Please check with the authorities for more details on the requirements needed.
Thailand has ramped up their efforts in allowing foreign visitors into their country to restart its tourism industry. As part of the effort, Thailand will be seeing its first group of tourists from China this coming week. These 120 Chinese travelers will be coming straight from Guangzhou to Phuket and would be staying in government-approved resorts for their 14-day quarantine.
Starting in October, the Thai government is aiming to welcome 1,200 foreign visitors in the first month. With the condition that the travelers must be from countries that have been deemed to be of low risk by the government and they must hold a special tourist visa and plan to a stay for at least 90-days, alongside the 14-day quarantine and COVID-19 tests. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the regulations and requirements