Hong Kong and Singapore have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral Air Travel Bubble (ATB). This milestone arrangement is supposed to help revive cross-border air travel between the two aviation hubs in a safe and progressive way. Hong Kong & Singapore may have the first travel bubble in Asia if the deal goes through, but many travelers are hoping that this is the start of a wider trend across Asia.
Hong Kong and Singapore enjoy strong trade, investment, finance, tourism and people-to-people ties. Both cities are major aviation hubs, and the international air route between the two cities was among the busiest in the Asia-Pacificregion before the pandemic. Travel links between Hong Kong and Singapore are important for both cities.
Both Singapore Tourism and travel travel and hospitality companies in the Lion City, along with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Hong Kong businesses that rely on travel, are counting on this agreement working out. Across Asia many other countries are also watching this this test closely.
“We welcome the SAR Government’s announcement of the in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral Air Travel Bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore,” said Dr YK Pang, Chairman of the HKTB. “The announcement is a timely match with the HKTB’s launch of a standardised hygiene protocol for tourism-related sectors with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, which was announced last week. The protocol allows the tourism-related sectors to be well-prepared to welcome visitors back, while bolstering visitors’ confidence in travelling to Hong Kong. The HKTB also hopes that the ongoing series of 360 Hong Kong Moments will keep our destination brand alive and ensure that our city stays top-of-mind for people around the world before other travel bubbles are formed.”
If the Hong Kong & Singapore travel bubble works out, this could be a template for other bilateral travel agreements across Asia.