Top News Hong Kong’s Covid surge overshadows new travel lane with Singapore By Prudence Lui / Posted on 24 February, 2022 16:58 Hong Kong’s tourism players are reserved about tourism recovery potential on the back of the Singapore-Hong Kong Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), which will come into effect on February 25. Inbound agents told TTG Asia that Hong Kong’s current battle with Covid-19 infections and medical facility overload as well as a quarantine-on-arrival for travellers coming into Hong Kong could diminish the value of the new VTL. Hong Kong inbound travel agents doubt the Singapore-Hong Kong Vaccinated Travel Lane would see immediate demand while Hong Kong deals with another Covid surge Wing Wong, managing director of W Travel, which specialised in South-east Asian markets prior to the pandemic, retains a bleak outlook. He said: “With the Hong Kong government and citizens fighting the outbreak now, I wonder if the Singapore government would reassess the viability of the Singapore-Hong Kong VTL. Unless Singapore residents need to visit relatives here in Hong Kong, I doubt they would make the trip now.” Wong added that interest and enquiries from Singapore travellers in December were snuffed out by the latest outbreak. Ronald Wu, executive director of Hong Kong’s Gray Line Tours, said that even though Hong Kong residents could enter Singapore quarantine-free, they would have to pay for a seven- to 14-day quarantine on return. “Not everyone can afford that. Therefore, I don’t expect to see any travel demand (for the VTL) in next six months,” said Wu. Offering an alternative optimistic view, Pinky Lee, general manager of KKday, told TTG Asia that the Singapore-Hong Kong VTL would pave the way for future tourism recovery between the two lands. For now, it would benefit business travellers who would not have to personally shoulder the cost of returning quarantine in Hong Kong.