From cruises and conferences, to Tokyo Olympics and Expo2020 Dubai, slow and steady steps are being taken to revive economies.
I can’t believe I am saying this in 2020 but I had a Zoom meeting this week in which someone was calling in while she was on a cruise.
Okay, albeit that it was to nowhere but the fact that she needed a passport and that she was cruising on the open sea with about 1,000 others speaks volumes about the ability and determination of folks to get back on the road or, in this case, the sea again.
Indeed for Irene Chua, my colleague and publisher of Northstar Travel Group’s titles in Asia, Travel Weekly Asia and M&C Asia, it was her second cruise in a week. She was on the first sailing of World Dream on November 6, operated by Genting Cruise Lines (GLC), with 1,400 other guests who booked the two-night cruise.
It was one of two ships given the green light to resume short sailings, as part of Singapore Tourism Board (STB)’s pilot scheme, some eight months since the government suspended calls from cruise ships.
According to GCL, when it launched the inaugural sailings, 6,000 people booked within the first five days, indicative of the pent-up demand in a country surrounded by the sea but with nowhere to go with borders still closed.
The way Irene told it, it was “super organised”, with cruisers doing Antigen Rapid Testing (ART) at check-in prior to embarkation. They are then sent their results via mobile and a negative test means they just show up in time to board the ship.
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