Despite lockdown restrictions, some short-haul destinations such as Singapore, UAE and Maldives are trying to woo Indian tourists with influencer campaigns and attractively-priced packages in partnership with airlines to restart international tourism.
“With international destinations reopening for tourists there has been a significant demand. We have witnessed an impressive growth rate of 25-30%. Destinations such as Dubai and Maldives have seen 100% growth in bookings in December compared to previous months. We have obtained not just queries, but also encouraging bookings for Egypt," said a spokesperson of the travel firm SOTC.
Singapore is taking a long-term view of the India market as its borders remain closed for tourists. However, it has been investing in digital and social media outreach in partnership with Zomato, BookMyShow, and NH7 Weekender music festival to stay connected with Indians.
The Singapore Tourism Board is set to launch an influencer campaign ‘Singapore thru Passionistas’ Eyes' with five popular social media influencers to create a community of advocates for Destination Singapore.
Several new features have also been introduced to enhance Singapore Airlines' travel reward programmes. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is automatically extending all existing PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite statuses for memberships that will expire between March 2021 and February 2022 by another year.
"We have simultaneously expanded and enhanced our programme offerings to create even more value for our members as we look forward to the recovery of air travel," said JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines.
Indian tourists planning to visit the UAE, which started welcoming visitors from July, are required to take two COVID-19 PCR tests, one not more than 96 hours before departure and a second test upon arrival in Dubai. The tourism board of Dubai is running phased campaigns to woo travellers from India, which remains its top source market.
Dubai will kick-start its food festival, Gastronomy, in February, while the Art Dubai event will begin in March. The board said visitors travelling with Emirates or FlyDubai airlines, will be offered free global coverage for covid-19 health expenses and quarantine costs till December 2020.
Maldives has also started attracting tourists to its white sand beaches and luxury resorts after India established an air bubble agreement in August. Maldives is collaborating with major airlines, tour operators and agents to create awareness and promote the destination, with different marketing activities in India.