After the seemingly endless Covid-19 slump, Southeast Asia is finally reopening to the world! The number of people doing Google searches about Singapore travel has reportedly gone up among travellers in Malaysia, along with Indonesia, India, and Australia. Meanwhile in Thailand, the number of foreign visitors rose 38% in March from February. This was after Thailand relaxed its requirements on testing and health insurance, according to the tourism ministry.
Flights to Singapore from several countries are expected to see a massive spike. Flights from Indonesia to Singapore are expected to quadruple from 55 to 222, while flights from India to Singapore are expected to reach 190. There were only 100 earlier this year.
Indonesia saw an increase in foreign travellers arriving through their airports and seaports since the beginning of 2022, according to government data. Figures from the statistics department revealed 33,600 travellers entered Indonesia through its main channels from January to February. Compared to the same time last year, the country saw a 260% increase.
It’s not just air travel that’s picking up again in Southeast Asia. Thailand also reopened its land border with Malaysia earlier this month. Some shop vendors along the border told Thai media that they were happy to welcome tourists again because the checkpoint closure was a hard time for them and their families. Motorbike taxi drivers in the area say they used to make 700 baht to 800 baht per day before the pandemic, but only made 50 to 60 baht a day after the closure.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Southeast Asia’s tourism economies make a comeback.
SOURCE: Bloomberg News