Searches on Singapore by M’sian travellers rises 5-fold

By AZREEN HANI / Pic AFP

AGODA has revealed that the search data for travellers from Malaysia to Singapore increased five-fold immediately following the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) announcement on Nov 8, compared to the average daily search data a week before. 

The surge in searches on its platform increased following the announcement of VTL between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Changi Airport, which will take effect on Nov 29. 

Agoda added that search data for travellers from Singapore to Malaysia showed a three-fold surge following the VTL announcement, compared to the daily average the same week prior. 

“With borders of both countries having been closed to each other for more than 19 months, the VTL is certainly welcome news for travellers to and from both countries,” Errol Cooke, Agoda VP said in a statement yesterday. 

“Since the announcement was made on Nov 8, we have seen a considerable surge in searches for both outbound and inbound travel between both countries, which is reflective of consumer behaviour patterns that we have witnessed in other markets following the lifting of travel restrictions,” he added. 

“More importantly, it clearly shows a marked willingness for travel, which certainly bodes well for the future of the industry in the months ahead. Around the world, we are seeing optimistic signs of international travel returning as travellers’ confidence grows following increase of vaccination rates and ease of travel restrictions. 

”The VTL between Malaysia and Singapore will allow fully-vaccinated travellers to travel between KLIA and Changi Airport while subjected to Covid-19 tests, in lieu of serving quarantine time or a stay-at-home notice. 

In a joint statement on Monday, both Malaysian Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong said the decision was made on the “significant progress” on the vaccination exercise as well as Covid-19 management in the respective countries. 

“The VTL is another important milestone in the longstanding Malaysia- Singapore cooperation. The VTL will allow travel as our two countries responsibly begin the gradual reopening of our borders by balancing the need to recover our economies while ensuring safety and health of our people from Covid-19,” Ismail Sabri said in the statement.