. Bubble not yet burst, talks with other countries continue | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Bubble not yet burst, talks with other countries continue

Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble deferred, but events like this week's TravelRevive trade show in Singapore remain key to reopening borders.

Singapore-Hong Kong bubble put on hold for two weeks, but talks with other countries are ongoing, says Keith Tan, chief executive of Singapore Tourist Board.
Singapore-Hong Kong bubble put on hold for two weeks, but talks with other countries are ongoing, says Keith Tan, chief executive of Singapore Tourist Board. Photo Credit:Gettyimages

The launch of the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble, due to take off on Sunday (22 November), has been deferred by two weeks following a recent spike of Covid-19 infections in Hong Kong.

Under the terms of the arrangement, the no-quarantine bubble would be suspended if a seven-day moving average of unlinked cases exceeds five per day in either city. On Saturday, Hong Kong reported 43 new Covid-19 cases, of which 36 were locally transmitted. 

While the travel bubble between the two financial hubs may be on ice, Keith Tan, chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said talks with other countries are ongoing.

Speaking at a PATA Destination Insight webinar last week, Tan said Singapore has been discussing travel bubbles with several countries and that future agreements required the participation of both countries involved in the ‘bubble’.

For bubbles to be successful, he said visitors should stick to the city’s pandemic prevention measures, such as wearing masks and being restricted to tables of five at restaurants. He said the same advice applied to Singaporeans travelling abroad.

A key business events milestone for Singapore will be this week’s TravelRevive hybrid meet (25-26 Nov) at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, a ITB Asia-STB partnership being run with about 250 ’live’ attendees, including overseas visitors.

TravelRevive will be a pilot event to test safety protocols and gather data to help Singapore speed-up the recovery of its business events sector.

Aloysius Arlando, president of the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisations and Suppliers (SACEOS), and CEO of SingEx Holdings, said pilot events were key to “bringing us back to where we were pre-Covid”.

“This event will give us rich insights into how we can manage large meetings in the future, how we can ensure the safety of participants throughout the event, whether they are on the trade floor, in breakout meetings or elsewhere at the show.”


M&C Asia's editor, Lauren Arena, will be among the 'live' attendees at TravelRevive. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for real-time updates.