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Covid-19 Market Updates & Insights - 18 March 2022


SIA passenger capacity recovers to 44% of pre-Covid levels
The clouds cleared as Singapore Airlines (SIA) reported an increase of 2 percentage points MoM to 44% of pre-Covid-19 levels for the month of February. Group passenger load factor, meanwhile, dipped by 0.9 percentage points m-o-m to 39.1%, or a 29.4 percentage point addition on a YoY basis. Read more here.

Singapore strives to become the global-Asia node for MICE
More than 20 major physical exhibitions and conferences will be taking place in Singapore between February and October this year, underscoring the city’s importance as a business events hub. This steadily growing number comprises 13 shows returning after postponement or virtual versions, while three debut events hope to break new ground. Read more here.

S'pore's Covid-19 weekly infection rate falls below one for 15th day in a row
The Covid-19 weekly infection growth rate remained below one for the 15th consecutive day on Wednesday (March 16), dropping to 0.76 from 0.8 the day before. Read more here.

HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens returns in April
Singapore will host the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens on April 9-10, in a step towards the return of large-scale live events in the country. The tournament, to be held at the National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub, will welcome top rugby sevens players from 16 countries such as Fiji and New Zealand. Read more here.

Quick guide to Singapore's simplified Covid-19 rules from March 15
Safe management measures will be simplified and streamlined from Tuesday (March 15), said a multi-ministry task force tackling the Covid-19 pandemic on Friday. Read more here.



International Air Fares Likely To Come Down By 50% As India Lifts Travel Ban After Two Years
According to a report in The Economic Times, international air tickets are expected to get as much as 40% cheaper with increased flights after the government lifted the ban on international commercial flights after two years. Read more here.

South Africa to soon start e-visa facility for Indian travellers
Reports stated that as part of post-pandemic revival plans, South Africa will soon be introducing e-visas for Indians to attract more tourists, movie makers, and business travellers. Referring to this, South African Tourism Hub Head (MEISEA) said, "We are glad to announce that we are on track to roll out e-visas in India in the coming months. Read more here.

Thomas Cook India, SOTC Travel Introduce ‘Ultra Flexible’ European Holidays
Thomas Cook (India) Limited and SOTC Travel, have introduced “Ultra Flexible” holidays that offers flexibility, choice and convenience of pricing. The 8-day tour features 5 days in Switzerland with the flexibility of choosing 3 days in France, Italy or Austria for free. “Ultra Flexible” holidays comes without the restrictions of either minimum number of co-travellers, fixed dates, airlines or fixed timings for sightseeing. Read more here.

IndiGo commences flights to Thailand after two years
In line with its vision to strengthen international connectivity, IndiGo announced the resumption of flights to Thailand. The airline will operate these flights under the air bubble agreement till March 26, 2022, and thereafter as part of its scheduled commercial international operations. The flights will connect Bangkok with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru and Phuket with Delhi and Mumbai. Read more here.



Thailand prepares to declare Covid-19 as endemic disease in July
As the government prepares to declare Covid-19 an endemic disease in July, authorities are seeking to ease travel restrictions in tandem with the policy in the hopes of attracting more tourists to Thailand. Read more here.

Thailand’s Health Ministry to propose scrapping pre-departure PCR for Test & Go
Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is set to make a proposal to scrap the pre-departure PCR for Test & Go travellers, making entering the country more convenient and cost-efficient. The proposal will need to be approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, which will have its general meeting this Friday and is expected to discuss a number of topics, including possibly lifting the mask mandate. Read more here.

Chiang Mai to completely reopen to int’l tourists ahead of Songkran festival
To revitalize the tourism sector, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Sakchai Kunawatchaiyadet said the province plans to allow visitors to enter the 20 remaining districts ahead of the Songkran festival in April. He also said a proposal will be submitted to the CCSA during its meeting on Friday (18 Mar) for further consideration. Read more here.


AirAsia Thailand to resume 18 international routes next month
AirAsia Thailand will recommence international flights from Don Mueang, Phuket and Hat Yai airports, servicing 18 routes to seven countries in Asia. A total of 38 flights per week will be operation next month, with plans to reinstate up to 81 flights per week by May 2022 in support of Thailand’s economic recovery. Read more here.



CovidNow: 65.3pc of Malaysia’s adult population have received booster jab
A total of 15,357,069 adults or 65.3 per cent of their population in the country have received the Covid-19 booster dose as of yesterday. Read more here.

Malaysia to have uniform VTL requirements for Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand
Standard operating procedures for the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) by air with Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand will be uniform, utilising the "test and release" method, Malaysia's Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said on Tuesday (March 15). Read more here.

Malaysia starts promotions with fam trips
Tourism Malaysia organised a familiarisation tour for a group of media and travel agents from Indonesia to promote Malaysia as a safe holiday destination as the country prepares to reopen borders fully starting 1 April. Read more here.



3 New Int’l Flights to Bali on 04 March
Three international air routes resumed operation to Bali on Friday, 04 March 2022, as the Island’s tourism industry reawakens from a two-year vacuum while eliminating quarantine requirements and resumption of the visa-on-arrival facility. Read more here.

Indonesia has passed Omicron peak: task force
The spokesperson for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito, has said that Indonesia has passed the peak of Omicron transmission. Read more here.


Proper COVID-19 handling guarantees more tourists: Official
Proper COVID-19 handling is one factor that will guarantee more tourists to return to Bali Island and spend their holidays there, according to Badung District  Secretary I Wayan Adi Arnawa. "I see that proper COVID-19 handling demonstrates the government's guarantee that tourists can now safely come to Bali Island, particularly Badung District," Arnawa noted in Mangupura, here on Wednesday. Read more here.



64.8M now fully vaxxed, 11M get booster shots vs. Covid-19
The Philippines has already administered a total of 139,454,246 doses of Covid-19 vaccine nationwide, with 64,838,213 Filipinos having completed their primary doses and 11,291,687 of them have received booster shots against the virus, as of Thursday. Read more here.

Metro Manila stays under Alert Level 1
Metro Manila, along with 47 other areas in several parts of the country, will remain under Alert Level 1 until March 31, Malacañang said on Tuesday. Read more here.

All areas in PH now 'low risk' for Covid-19: DOH
All areas in the country including those under Alert Level 2 are now classified as low risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), a health official said Tuesday. Read more here.
This country regularly tops the Philippines’ tourist arrivals — and it’s not China
Residents from South Korea topped the list of visitor arrivals to the Philippines every year from 2010 to 2020, according to data from the Philippines′ Department of Tourism. Read more here.




Long wait over, Vietnam tourism workers relieved, revived
Many tourism workers feel a sense of relief and revival as Vietnam opened international tourism on March 15th with relaxed entry rules after a long pandemic-induced hiatus. Read more here.

Vietnam resumes visa exemption for 13 countries
The government on Tuesday agreed to resume its unilateral visa exemption policy for citizens from 13 countries as Vietnam seeks to reopen inbound tourism after nearly two years of closure. Read more here.


Vietnam travel firms see strong recovery in outbound tourism
Travel firms in Vietnam are reporting a surge in outbound tour bookings as over 50 countries lift Covid-19 testing and quarantine requirements for Vietnamese tourists. Representatives of several tour operators said the number of Vietnamese tourists booking tours to Asia, the Middle East and Europe in March has increased two to three times over last month. Read more here.


Taiwan eyeing 7, 5, 3-day quarantines
Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Monday (March 14) that the center is making plans for shorter quarantines for arrivals from overseas. Read more here.
Philippines scraps quarantine for holders of Taiwan vaccination certificate
Travelers from Taiwan to the Philippines will soon no longer have to submit to quarantine upon arrival in the Southeast Asian country if they can present a valid vaccination certificate in paper or digital form, Taiwan’s representative office in Manila said Friday (March 11). Read more here.

Taiwan's plan to open borders likely to be released next month
Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Friday (March 11) that it is possible the center will release a plan on reopening Taiwan's borders within a month, but the lifting of border restrictions will depend on four key factors. Read more here.



Over 3.2b COVID-19 vaccine doses administered on Chinese mainland
Over 3.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered on the Chinese mainland as of 15th March, data from the National Health Commission showed 16th March. Read more here.
China's COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment protocol revised
China has updated the COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment protocol for the first time in two years. The relaxation in hospital admission and nucleic acid testing standards are aimed to ease the stress on medical resources and help relieve Shanghai's recent COVID-19 prevention pressure. Read more here.
China Approved COVID-19 Antigen Tests for Public Use
The State Council approved COVID-19 antigen tests for public use and released trial rules around their deployment. Read more here.



HKU research estimates 1 in every 2 people in HK has tested positive for Covid-19, fifth wave reached its peak on 4th March
According to the latest calculations by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, the fifth wave of the epidemic reached its peak on 4th March. As of 14th March, it is estimated that 3.58 million people in Hong Kong has been infected. Read more here.

Get ready for a fourth jab
Most people will eventually need a fourth Covid jab, said infectious-disease expert Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, adding that he hopes vaccines targeting the Omicron variant will come this year. Read more here.



COVID quasi-emergency to completely end on Monday: Kishida
Japan will end all remaining COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency curbs as scheduled next week as the number of new infections has been trending downward, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday. Read more here.
Japan may allow 10,000 people per day to enter country from April
Japan is considering raising the daily cap on overseas arrivals to 10,000 from the current 7,000 starting in April, further easing its COVID-19 border controls, government sources said Tuesday. Read more here.



South Korea travel guide: quarantine-free visits for vaccinated tourists from April 1             
From April 1, fully vaccinated tourists will be able to fly to the country quarantine-free. South Korea will also recognise more vaccinations, including those administered outside of the country, said the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. This will allow more people to apply for quarantine-free travel. Read more here.                                    

Jin Air resumes Busan-Guam route amid vaccinations                                     
Jin Air Co., the budget carrier unit of Korean Air Lines Co., said Thursday it has resumed flights to Guam to preemptively respond to pent-up travel demand despite the extended COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

South Korea: Overseas travel demand picking up again; ‘Inquiries about honeymoon trip increase’
As the Korean government will lift the mandatory self-quarantine measure for fully vaccinated residents from March 21, demand for overseas travel is expected to recover. Read more here.



Azerbaijan Is Tapping Into Its Cultural Heritage to Attract a New Generation of Travelers
For the historically minded traveler, Azerbaijan is a melting pot of culturally diverse influences to explore and experience, many of them little known to first-time visitors. Read more here.

Registration opens for ATM 2022
Registration is now live and free to attend the Arabian Travel Mart due to take place 9 to 12 May 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Following more than two years of lockdowns travel restrictions that postponed trade events, ATM will reunite buyers, exhibitors and travel trade professionals from all over the world for four days of networking and business sourcing. Read more here.
Ecotourism Market Size Worth $385.01 Billion by 2028
The Asia Pacific region dominated the market by accounting for over 35.0% share in 2020. The rise of social media to create awareness about ecotourism in developing economies, including China and India, has positively influenced the growth of the travel and tourism industry in the region. Read more here.
How Covid Changed Business Travel Forever
Zoom meetings have fundamentally altered how and why people hit the road for work. Now “bleisure” and “return to base” are corporate travel buzzwords in the new normal. Read more here.
Wave farewell to Expo 2020 Dubai, and say Konnichiwa to Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, Japan
Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, Japan to run from 13 April to 13 October, 2025 with the theme of Designing Future Society for Our Lives. Read more here.

South Africa Goes Hyper-Local in First Tourism Campaign in Years
South Africa’s new tourism campaign push comes just as its industry begins to see green shoots of recovery ahead, in contrast to the uncertainty that now hangs over European destinations. Read more here.




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