Flight bookings to destinations across Southeast Asia are increasing with several countries having loosened restrictions on inbound arrivals. While numbers are still well below pre-pandemic levels, online travel company Skyscanner is seeing a noticeable jump in people making plans to head overseas.
According to the travel firm, flight bookings made by travelers based in Great Britain, the United States and Germany increased by 19 and 300 percent when comparing December 2021 and January 2022. That coincided with Thailand and the Philippines, among other countries, rolling out plans to welcome vaccinated visitors.
“From Skyscanner’s global footprint, we’ve seen that when restrictions do ease, travellers react and are willing adapt to new measures in order to be able to travel internationally again,” Skyscanner Senior Regional Director Asia Pacific Paul Whiteway told Reuters. “Over the coming weeks, we will see markets react to the news, airlines announcing new schedules and building capacity to allow the return of international travel at scale.”
Southeast Asia reopens for tourism
Both Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia have reopened to vaccinated travelers which has contributed to the increase in flight bookings.
Thailand resumed its Test & Go scheme on February 1. The program, which first ran between November and late December 2021, allows tourists to enter the Kingdom quarantine free assuming they follow certain guidelines.
Over in the Philippines, arrivals are being welcomed back for the first time in nearly two years. Travelers are required to present a recent negative COVID-19 test along with proof of vaccination in order to be allowed entrance.
Elsewhere, Singapore has established Vaccinated Travel Lanes with 21 countries that allow for quarantine-free visits. Bali in Indonesia began welcoming tourists on February 4.