As global travel gradually returns and more cruise destinations open up, we caught up with John Gregory Conceicao, Singapore Tourism Board's executive director for Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asian travel agents will have plentiful reimagined experiences in Singapore that they can offer to their market.
Below, he shares his views on how the post-pandemic travel and cruise experience in Singapore will be like, and why plenty of opportunities await both agents and customers alike in the reimagined Singapore.
Sustainable tourism has become more important in the new Covid-19 environment, as consumers become increasingly aware of the impact of their consumption.
How will the Southeast Asia travel market change after Covid? What segments are likely to recover first?
Travellers from Southeast Asia are willing to pay for products and services with a sustainability focus. They are also likely to be willing to pay a slight premium for the assurance of safety and hygiene.
In terms of travel preference, we think they may take fewer trips but stay longer in the destination and the experiences they engage in the destination needs to be meaningful and worthwhile, given the effort and resources needed for these trips in the current environment. There could be a desire for nature-based and outdoor experiences too.
STB’s Brand Health Study also found that three in four (76%) leisure travellers and nine in 10 business travellers are likely to travel in the next 12 months. Amongst the leisure travellers, the early and established careers aged from 25 to 49 years old are likely to lead the first wave of recovery.
With Singapore leading the way in reopening travel safely, do you foresee new protocols in the land and cruise experience for visitors to the destination when borders reopen?
To help companies resume business safely in Singapore, we have put in place Safe Management Measures for our businesses. These sector-specific measures cover but are not limited to capacity limits, ensuring safe distancing and good hygiene practices. They are regularly reviewed by the Singapore Government and updated to meet the evolving Covid-19 situation.
For example, to rebuild consumer confidence and demand for cruise, STB established the CruiseSafe certification which is mandatory for all cruise lines to obtain before they can resume their sailings out of Singapore. Singapore is the first country in the world to develop and implement a mandatory audit and certification programme for cruise lines before they can commence sailings.
The certification is benchmarked against global standards and protocols as well as national measures such as SG Clean. It serves as an independent endorsement and mark of quality for increased assurance that cruise ships have rigorous on-board safety and hygiene measures in place. This boosts confidence in cruise as a safe travel option.
Health and safety have always been STB’s topmost priority, as we work together with various stakeholders to ensure we can continue to provide tourism offerings that are safe and enjoyable for everyone.
We will continue to monitor global standards and protocols and ensure we have robust safe management measures and best practices to guide the industry.
What support is STB giving to cruise agents in the region to sell Singapore cruise and land packages?
There are various support measures for the cruise industry such as the Cruise Development Fund (CDF) for in-market travel agents which supports them in their development and marketing of cruise packages to sell Singapore cruise and land packages. The CDF can support up to 70% of qualifying costs such as consumer and trade marketing, pre/post cruise land experiences and development of themed cruise programmes.