The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced a collaboration to welcome the launch of the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble (ATB), ahead of the departure of the first flights on 22 November 2020.
The Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble – a bilateral, all-purpose and quarantine-free arrangement – is a milestone for the global tourism industry, and paves the way for a safe resumption of international travel.
The partnership between the HKTB and the STB is also the first between the two tourism boards. It demonstrates the close ties between the two destinations as well as a mutual commitment to provide visitors with a safe travel experience.
Mr Dane Cheng, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (right), and Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Tourism Board (left), who have teamed up to welcome travellers from both cities for the launch of the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble, a bilateral, all-purpose and quarantine-free arrangement.
HKTB Executive Director Mr Dane Cheng said: “I am excited to see the resumption of travel between Hong Kong and Singapore. 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. Thanks to the united efforts of people in different sectors in stepping up their hygiene measures, we are confident Hong Kong is clean and ready to welcome visitors back. What’s more, we have laid on a selection of amazing offers for our visitors, including hotels and attractions, a diverse selection of travel experiences, and incredible value-for-money deals.”
STB Chief Executive Officer Mr Keith Tan said: “The Air Travel Bubble is a significant milestone that demonstrates the deep connections and close friendship between Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore is well-equipped to handle the COVID-19 crisis, and with our strong track record, we are confident that Hong Kong travellers can explore Singapore with a 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. Together with our tourism partners, Singapore stands ready to welcome Hong Kong travellers to Singapore.”
The health and safety of locals and travellers remain a key priority. To provide visitors with peace of mind, both destinations have already put in place city-wide certification programmes for hygiene and safety. The HKTB has rolled out the Anti-Epidemic Hygiene Measures Certification Scheme to ensure that every touch point of visitors’ journey is covered with anti-epidemic measures. Meanwhile, Singapore’s SG Clean is a national mark of excellence awarded to businesses across Singapore - including tourism establishments - that meet its high standards of hygiene and sanitisation.
As part of the partnership, the tourism boards of the two cities will undertake joint promotional activities such as coordinated social media content. Both tourism boards 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. Travellers on the first ATB flights out of both cities on 22 November will also be treated to a special in-flight menu that includes local favourites from Hong Kong and Singapore, curated by Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. This menu will be available on all ATB flights till the end of this year.
Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said: “As Hong Kong’s home carrier, we are excited to facilitate this two-way, all-purpose, quarantine-free Air Travel Bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore. 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. We look forward to welcoming our customers aboard our first travel bubble flights for a festive getaway as we head towards the popular Christmas holiday season.”
Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial Mr Lee Lik Hsin said: “The Air Travel Bubble arrangement between Singapore and Hong Kong facilitates the keenly anticipated return of leisure travel for both cities as we continue with our recovery from COVID-19. It is a signal that we can open up in a safe and calibrated way with the necessary bilateral protocols on place. 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 on board our aircraft, and delivering the exceptional in-flight service that Singapore Airlines is renowned for.”
With the ATB, both cities are ready to shower visitors with a series of compelling experiences. Hong Kong will welcome the winter holidaymakers from Singapore with its renowned sparkling Christmas celebrations, together with a host of gastronomical offers from the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival. It is also the best hiking and cycling season to get fully immersed in Hong Kong’s Great Outdoors. For the art lovers, world-class exhibitions such as Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel and Botticelli and His Times – Masterworks from the Uffizi in the Hong Kong Museum of Arts are not to be missed.
In Singapore, Hong Kong visitors can soak up the holiday cheer at an exciting line-up of Christmas events, including Christmas on A Great Street’s 3.1-kilometre dazzling Christmas light-up along Orchard Road, and Gardens by the Bay’s festive extravaganza Christmas Wonderland. Hong Kong travellers will also be among the first overseas visitors to experience Singapore’s new and diverse offerings such as Aqua Gastronomy, a stunning underwater dining pop-up at Resorts World Sentosa’s S.E.A. Aquarium, and the Changi Jurassic Mile, an outdoor display of lifelike dinosaurs along a bike and walking path that connects Marina Bay in downtown Singapore to the Changi Airport.