If there was one person who could truly be called an icon of the travel industry, it was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
TORONTO — Hong Kong and Singapore have officially formed an Air Travel Bubble (ATB) ahead of the departure of the first flights later this month.
Considered a major milestone for the global tourism industry, the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble is a bilateral, all-purpose and quarantine-free arrangement designed to pave the way for a safe resumption of international travel.
The partnership between the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is also the first between the two organizations. As part of the partnership, both tourism boards will undertake joint promotional activities such as coordinated social media content. They have also prepared special gifts to welcome the first batch of visitors on the ATB, such as a limited-edition reusable face mask that showcases unique aspects of both cities.
The first ATB flights out of both cities are scheduled for Nov. 22 with Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. A special in-flight menu that includes local favourites from Hong Kong and Singapore will be available on all ATB flights until the end of 2020.
“I am excited to see the resumption of travel between Hong Kong and Singapore,” said HKTB Executive Director Dane Cheng. “It is a hugely important moment that shows the world that safe international travel is possible, and paves the way for us to bring tourist flights to and from other markets.”
Keith Tan, STB Chief Executive Officer, added: “Singapore is well-equipped to handle the COVID-19 crisis and wit our strong track record, we are confident that Hong Kong travellers can explore Singapore with peace of mind. Singapore’s tourism industry has reinvented our offerings, with new products and experiences that will surprise visitors even if they have been to Singapore before.”
Both destinations have already implemented city-wide certification programs for hygiene and safety. In Hong Kong, the Anti-Epidemic Hygiene Measures Certification Scheme ensures that every touchpoint of a visitor’s journey is covered with anti-epidemic measures, while in Singapore, SG Clean is a national mark of excellence awarded to businesses that meet high standards of hygiene and sanitization.
In the air, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines have also put in place stringent health and safety measures.
Said Lee Lik Hsin, Singapore Airlines’ Executive Vice President: “Keeping our customers and crew safe and secure has always been a top priority, and we are committed in ensuring that all precautionary measures are in place to safeguard everyone’s well-being during the travel journey. We look forward to welcoming our customers onboard our aircraft and delivering the exceptional in-flight service that Singapore Airlines is renowned for.”
Cathay Pacific is equally excited to facilitate this “two-way, all-purpose, quarantine-free Air Travel Bubble,” said Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam. “Cathay Pacific is all ready to fly passengers safely and securely between the two cities under the new arrangement. We believe that this will be a milestone showcase for the opening of more similar air travel bubbles with other popular destinations in the region and beyond.”
Travellers to both destination can look forward to attractive deals and experiences from a range of tourism partners. These offers are available on the HKTB’s all-in-one platform, discoverhongkong.com/TravelBubble, and STB’s one-stop visitor portal, visitsingapore.com/hk-deals.