Industry Update
Press Release25 May 2020

HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 22 May 2020

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Travellers Allowed to Transit through Changi Airport from 2 June


The Singapore's Civil Aviation Authority ("CAAS") has released a statement which mentioned that travellers will gradually be allowed to transit through Singapore Changi Airport starting from 2 June 2020. After Singapore banned all short-term visitors from entering or transiting via Singapore in March, only foreign passengers on repatriation flights arranged by their governments can transit through Singapore, and only work-pass holders, including their dependents, who are providing essential services such as healthcare and transport are currently allowed to enter the country. According to CAAS, the move is part of Singapore's strategy to gradually reopen air transport to meet the needs of the economy and people, while ensuring sufficient safeguards for safe travel after the end of the circuit breaker. Stringent safe distancing measures will also be implemented in designated facilities in the transit area. Airport staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment when interacting with passengers. Existing precautionary measures, such as safe distancing, temperature taking for passengers and staff, will continue to be enforced.

Revitalisation Enters Final Stage in Shibuya, Japan

Led by Japan-based East Japan Railway Company and Tokyo Metro and developer, Tokyu Land Corporation, with support from the local government, Shibuya has entered the third and final stage of an urban development plan that aims to transform the Tokyo district into a modern centre for business and entertainment by 2027. In 2019, the second phase of the project was completed with the opening of three new complexes: 1) 230-metre tall Shibuya Scramble Square: tallest building in Shibuya, houses Japan's largest rooftop observatory and has more than 200 outlets; 2) Shibuya Fukuras: one-stop-shop for international visitors which houses an art centre, a bus terminal serving Haneda and Narita airports, a tourist information centre, luggage storage and delivery, and foreign currency exchange;.and 3) Shibuya Parco: comprises a wide range of shops and a 636-pax theatre. The 2.6-hectare Shibuya Station Sakuragaoka East District Redevelopment is anticipated to complete in late 2023. Slated to complete in 2027, the Central and West Buildings of Shibuya Station will coincide with the opening of the maglev service that will connect Tokyo and Nagoya in 40 minutes, reducing travelling time by 50 minutes.

Thailand Tourism Announced Plans for Post-COVID 19 Tourism Recovery

Tourism Authority of Thailand ("TAT") has announced a new tourism campaign, "Amazing Trusted Thailand", to rebrand tourism in Thailand post-COVID 19. This will feature three combinations of new and old tourism concepts, including an effective and recognised public health system, unique gastronomy and culture, natural beauty and Thai people. The campaign aims at selected destinations that can guarantee health and safety standard for both tourists and locals. TAT is planning to match foreign tourists from countries that were removed from "Disease-Infected Zones for Covid-19" with provinces in Thailand that never reported infection case or have not reported a new case in the past 28 days. TAT is also targeting high-end foreign tourists from Europe and Asia Pacific region to visit Thailand under a quota. These tourists will not be subjected to 14-day quarantine measures but will be requested to provide health certification, fit-to-fly certificates, and buy health insurance before visiting Thailand. The plan will require THB10-20 billion from the THB400 billion economic rehabilitation projects budget. Currently, TAT is planning to propose the plan in the cabinet meeting next week.

New Zealand Government Allocated NZD400 Million for Tourism Sector Aid

The New Zealand government has allocated NZD400 million (USD244 million) as part of its Budget 2020 for a targeted Tourism Recovery Fund. The Tourism Recovery Fund will be comprised of two parts, led by the Tourism Transition Programme, which will help guide businesses toward business sustainability, whether that be adjusting operations to suit the domestic and Trans-Tasman market specifically, to phase in a gradual shutdown or to adapt the business in other ways. Furthermore, the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Program
will work with individual businesses which have already exhausted their own private funding options to design a bespoke solution for their needs. Other aid includes extension of wage subsidies, setup of recovery task forces, and channels to provide advices to tourism businesses through the COVID-19 period. Tourism New Zealand will retain its full budget for ongoing promotion of the destination in key domestic markets, with allocation for promotion in Australia. A NZD1.1 billion investment in the Department of Conservation will see 11,000 regional environment jobs created, which Tourism Industry Aotearoa ("TIA") says will provide a lifeline to those employees in tourism who have now lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Construction of Facilities for Ferry Services Between Can Gio and Vung Tau Commences

On 8 May 2020, construction of facilities for ferry services on the first Can Gio-Vung Tau sea route began. The sea route will connect Ho Chi Minh ("HCM") City's outlying Can Gio District and Vung Tau City in the coastal southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Slated to be completed on 2 September 2020, the new ferry services are anticipated to boost tourism, contribute socio-economic development and enable smoother connections between HCM City and neighbouring provinces and cities. The sea route will shorten the travel time between both tourist destinations from 3.5 hours to 30 minutes as compared to road travel.

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