Industry Update
Press Release14 September 2020

HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 11 September 2020

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Domestic Bookings in Singapore on the Rise: Tripadvisor


A recent report by Tripadvisor has revealed that Singapore is one of the fastest recovering destinations in Asia Pacific since last year as the recovery is bolstered by an increase in domestic travel bookings. Recent Tripadvisor data showed that international and domestic travel during the fall season (1 September to 30 November 2020) continues to recover gradually, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of all travellers planning for a domestic trip during fall. Of those travellers, 79% of them are planning a September trip, the busiest travel month during fall. Outdoor trips have gained popularity in Singapore, with 45% of Singaporean travellers expressed interest in outdoor or nature trips. 37% are more likely to consider road trips now, compared to pre-pandemic. Jane Lim, Vice President for global markets at Tripadvisor, shared that despite the travel disruptions brought about by the pandemic, 66% of Singaporean travellers continue to express the importance of travelling to them, even if they are unable to have the same experience as before. Presently, the locals are booking more staycations and weekend stays, exploring the city-state. These locals are looking to relax and rejuvenate, as well as creating memories with family and friends.

Malaysia Relaxed Entry Ban on Expats, Professional Visit Pass Holders from 23 Countries

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, a Senior Minister of Malaysia, revealed that a special Cabinet committee had decided to relax entry ban on expatriates and professional visit pass holders from 23 countries on 7 September 2020. The countries include the United States, Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Columbia, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Iraq, the Philippines and Indonesia. Visitors will have to obtain approval from the Immigration Department before entering the country. The application must be accompanied by a support letter from the Malaysian Investment Development Authorities or related agencies. The government has also decided to allow permanent residents, as well as foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens, to enter Malaysia, provided it is a one-way journey and that they remain in Malaysia. Student pass holders from the affected countries will also be allowed into Malaysia.

Indonesia Government Inks Agreement on Surakarta-Yogyakarta Toll Road with Private Consortium

PT Jogjasolo Marga Makmur, a consortium of state-owned and private firms, has signed a toll road concession agreement with the Indonesia government to build and operate a Surakarta-Yogyakarta-New Yogyakarta International Airport toll road. The toll road will measure over 96.5-kilometre with an invested amount of IDR26.6 trillion (USD1.8 billion). Part of the road is scheduled to open in 2023, with the full completion expected to open by 2024. The consortium consists of state-owned toll road operator, PT Jasa Marga, and construction firm, PT Adhi Karya, as well as private firms, namely construction firm, PT Daya Mulia Turangga and PT Gama Group, who owns majority of the consortium's stake. The consortium possesses a 40-year concession for the toll road. The toll road is expected to boost the connectivity of Yogyakarta-Surakata-Semarang ("Joglosemar") in Central Java and Yogyakarta, as well as nearby tourist destinations such as the historic Prambanan and Borobudur temples. Public Works and Housing Minister, Basuki Hadimuljono mentioned that the government expects to sign another agreement for a Bawen-Yogyakarta toll road in October to further boost the Joglosemar region.

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