Confirmation of the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) on November 11 has led to an immediate surge in travel search and flight bookings, with seats on Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific flights designated for the first day of the travel access on November 22 sold out within hours.
According to a news report by CNA, prices for Singapore Airlines economy class seats departing on November 22 steadily increased from about S$800 (US$593) at 10.00 on Wednesday to more than S$1,100 at about 15.00.
Cathay Pacific economy fares for the same departure date also rose, crossing the S$900 mark by late afternoon.
At Trip.com, the ATB launch announcement brought forth a 300 per cent spike in search volume for flights from Hong Kong to Singapore and a 200 per cent increase in Singapore hotel searches within three hours.
Trip.com data also showed a significant rise in the search volume for travel products from Singapore to Hong Kong, with a 200 per cent increase for flights and a 150 per cent increase for hotels.
The positive response follows on from Trip.com’s record of increased search volume since the first announcement of the ATB agreement on October 15, indicating that hunger for cross-border travel remains strong.
Consumer intelligence company Adara has also seen an encouraging rise in weekly searches since the ATB possibility was reported, with average weekly searches for Singapore and Hong Kong rising by 38 per cent and average weekly bookings by 83 per cent.
The certainty of travel between the two cities now has led Singapore consumers to plan 31 to 60 days ahead for their trips, and an 11 per cent improvement in travel interest.
Searches for longer trip are also up since the ATB confirmation, with 16 per cent of consumers looking at spending eight to 14 days (five per cent prior to the confirmation) and 20 per cent spending more than 15 days in the destination (13 per cent prior).