SINGAPORE, through the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), is welcoming more fully vaccinated Filipinos into its country. The country officially opened its borders to tourists on March 4.

The STB and Philippine Airlines (PAL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reiterate their commitment to travel and tourism post-pandemic. Singapore Tourism Board chief executive Keith Tan and PAL president and chief executive officer Capt. Stanley Ng led the MOU signing held at I’M Hotel in Makati City on April 19.

Tan shared that Singapore hosted a record 830,000 visitors from the Philippines (PH) in 2019 (a 6.6 percent increase from 2018). The numbers dropped due to Covid-19, hitting as low as 8,000 visitors in early 2022. Tan expects this to change with the country opening its borders with less-stringent travel and health requirements.

PAL—through this MOU—looks to “re-introduce Singapore to Filipinos,” said Ng. Tan said Filipino travelers can expect more “upcoming promos and surprises” in the coming days.

With regard to the possibilities of Cebu to Singapore flights, Ng said that PAL is looking into adding it in the future. Tan added how the idea is an exciting one as “Singaporeans want to visit Cebu” as well.

Before the pandemic, PAL maintained four daily flights to Singapore. PAL currently has two flights daily.

“We are looking going back to pre-pandemic numbers by the 4th quarter,” said Ng.

Tan added that he does not expect a “V-shaped” recovery in terms of tourist numbers but sees a complete recovery in “two, three years.” (LQ3)