With the Singapore-Riau Safe Travel Bubble now underway and travel enquiries for destination Bintan spiking, Bintan Resorts has brought its travel trade partners in Singapore together for a forum this afternoon to address procedural concerns as well as present critical destination information to aid their sales efforts.
The in-person event was attended by 49 registered trade members – a figure limited by safe distancing requirements. Trade partners who were unable to attend the event today can expect more of similar engagements by Bintan Resorts in the coming weeks and months, as the destination marketer and master developer of tourism infrastructure in the Indonesian island ramps up trade and consumer communications.
Speaking to TTG Asia, Abdul Wahab, group general manager of Bintan Resorts, said his team would plan for fam trips soon for travel trade partners, event organisers, trade journalists and travel bloggers to showcase Bintan’s readiness for travellers to return, and has started work on reviving some of the destination’s popular sporting events.
“I think we can do the minimum safely – that is to bring back a few sports events such as triathlons and marathons, which can be conducted within the Lagoi area,” he shared.
Abdul Wahab believes Bintan is ready to welcome both holidaymakers and business groups.
“There are 2,000 hotel rooms (based on permitted 50 per cent operating capacity across seven hotels that have remained opened, out of 17 in total) in operation now within the Lagoi travel bubble as well as four signature golf courses and so many other tourism facilities, all of which are spread over an area that is 20 times larger than Singapore’s Sentosa resort island. There is plenty of activities for travellers looking to stay in Bintan for three or four nights,” he said.
Bintan hotels, resorts and venues are also authorised to host events of up to 300 pax in a single area with safe measures in place.
However, Abdul Wahab also tempered recovery expectations, as the Singapore-Riau Safe Travel Bubble is still a unilateral arrangement.
“We have yet to receive a written directive from Singapore authorities on how travellers from Bintan will return to Singapore. We can only be truly happy when Singapore announces reciprocal quarantine-free arrivals from Bintan,” he explained.
While the Singapore-Riau Safe Travel Bubble allows travellers from Singapore to enter Bintan without quarantine, travellers returning to Singapore will need to fulfil a seven-day isolation at home or a facility at their own expense.
“Compulsory quarantine will continue to be a major obstacle to Bintan’s tourism recovery, so we are hoping hard that the Singapore authorities can agree on a Vaccinated Travel Lane with Bintan, just like the ongoing arrangement with Jakarta which is very convenient and successful,” he added.