Dynasty Travel International, one of Singapore’s leading outbound travel agency, will host a three-day by-appointment in-house and virtual travel fair this weekend in response to “overwhelming” desire among customers to secure their year-end holidays.
According to spokesperson Alicia Seah, the hyped up interest triggered by Singapore’s 11 new Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) – the latest nine came into effect on October 19 – has also required the company to reopen its retail store since October 18, although the company has been enforcing a default work-from-home arrangement since Singapore’s last Heightened Alert.
European borders’ reopening to leisure travellers as well as access to South Korea via the VTL has “given the travel industry a huge uplift to sales and bookings”, remarked Seah.
Seah noted that Europe and South Korea have been popular holiday destinations for Singapore residents, with bookings for these destinations making up 35 per cent of overall outbound segments pre-pandemic.
She told TTG Asia that the “stars are well aligned for outbound leisure travel to truly restart”, thanks to quarantine-free allowance, improved travellers’ confidence, destination appeal, VTL enforcement coinciding with the year-end holiday season, as well as the Singapore government’s decision this week to lift the suspension on overseas leave application for all healthcare workers.
“The year-end is the most popular time for people to make their holiday plans. Many were unable to travel for the last 20 months, and many employees are struggling to clear their accumulated annual leave,” she added.
Interest in attending the travel fair is strong, with Dynasty confirming almost 100 pre-booked appointments at press time.
Most of the customers eager to secure their holidays are aged between 40 and 55 years old and travelling with teenage children who are fully vaccinated. Up for grabs are winter holiday packages to South Korea, as well as in-depth exploration of mono destinations in Europe, such as Italy, Spain and France.
Dynasty has also put together a 13-day/10-night package covering Germany, France and the Netherlands – all destinations under Singapore’s VTL. It features historical German cities, the famed Alsace Wine Route in France, Aalsmeer flower trading centre in the Netherlands, and more.
To facilitate pre-departure health and safety requirements, Dynasty will provide home-based swab tests for their customers, in partnership with a Ministry of Health-approved entity. This service is in line with the company’s personalised service promise, and will provide convenience to its customers.
When asked about challenges to outbound travel rebound, Seah pointed to limited flight capacity, as the VTL scheme relies on designated flights, as well as higher prices.
“However, travellers are willing to pay (to satiate) their pent-up travel demand. Some are even tailoring and customising their own programmes,” she added.