It was sad for most Singaporeans who were not able to travel in 2020. To add on, personally, it was unlikely to go on a shopping spree in Singapore because the currency used remains the same. With the same value, I tend to calculate the item and translate the cost in terms of hours or days of my work. So paying half a day of my work at a fancy Michelin restaurant is not comparable to a bar tab in Oklahoma with new acquaintances overseas.
In general, Singapore being a travel hub, it was greatly affected by the pandemic. With less tourists, needless to say, the tourism and hotel industry was greatly affected. A mini country with lots of reliance on other countries for import and export of goods, undeniably the citizens became very much afraid that they will need to ration water and food in Feb 2020. Thankfully with a proper and efficient taskforce to manage disbursement of food in the supermarket and bringing sufficient food into the country, Singaporeans remain civilized and even have access to their favorite food.
The F&B industry was affected partly due to the no-dining policy but with the increased food delivery services, the consumers are paying for the additional expense for the added security of staying home. The numerous home based business opens up which provide greater selection of cuisines for us working from home, leading weight gain for us. I remembered the countless donuts delivered by my colleagues, Starbucks or bubble tea by my siblings and even Naan Deliveries by my close friends, with a waiting time that ranges for 20 to 60 mins.
The Coronavirus outbreak has brought an unprecedented amount of uncertainty into the Singapore economy. In spite of battling growing health threats within the Airport and implementing social-distancing norms, the impact of COVID-19 on travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality is rather steeper than anticipated. It has been reported on the news that the visitor arrivals to Singapore plummet more than 80% in 2020 .Initially, the government predicted about 25-30% of the number of visitor arrivals globally to decline, but eventually realizing the severity of the situation as more countries reported outbreaks which led to implementation of travel restrictions around the world.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Singapore Government has progressively implemented a series of measures to reduce the risk of imported cases and spread of the virus. The MOH have also been communicating regularly with updates on the current numbers of active cases and provide occasional reminders daily on Whatsapp to whoever sign up for the notifications online. Especially to reassure concerned citizens by being transparent on the imported cases daily and the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus.
To further support tourism businesses and partners during these challenging times, and to lead them on the path of recovery, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has rolled out several new initiatives such as providing the support and guidelines on how to manage social distancing, implementing technology into businesses to set up appointment system to manage the crowd/queue for an event and the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers for citizens to play their part to revive the local economy.
The vouchers will be available digitally through SingPass by default, with support provided for those with difficulties accessing them online. The scheme will last until the end of June 2021. The SingapoRediscovers Vouchers may be used to book accommodation at selected hotels and tourist attractions in an attempt to boost the industry by glamorising staycations and taking a break from work-from-home norm and exploring the new side of Singapore. They may also be used for tours with unique attractions without having to travel in a plane.
My sisters and I spent all the money on a staycation in a hotel last week at the Park Hotel and Yotel which is convenient for a chill unwind from work and will be forking out more money from my pocket for another staycation session with my parents and brothers this weekend. I am just thankful to have only forked about $30 per pax for a two night stay in the hotel in Orchard thanks to the scheme the Government has implemented as I would undeniably eventually booked a stay anyway. Two factors why I would stay in a hotel, so that I could run the aircon the whole day (without guilt and worrying about the fee) and that I have accommodation near a shopping mall and Mustafa and a break from my work environment from home.
Probably be blogging about the hotel stay and the facilities soon.