Travel restrictions lifted in Kuwait, Singapore, many more destinations

Singapore, 25 October 2022 – Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Alvin Tan launched the Hotel Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2025 today at the opening ceremony of international tradeshow FHA-HoReCa (Food & Hotel Asia-Hotel, Restaurant, Café) at Singapore Expo. 2 The Hotel ITM 2025 was developed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in partnership with the Food Drinks and Allied Workers Union (FDAWU), Singapore Hotel Association (SHA), industry players and other government agencies. It was endorsed by the Future Economy Council (FEC)1 earlier this year. 3 Hotel ITM 2025 aims to create a compelling, innovative, and sustainable hotel industry, supported by a strong local workforce. The roadmap lays out strategies to achieve real value-added growth of 5.9% from 2020 to 2025, as well as create good jobs in emerging areas such as wellness, sustainability, and technology. Outcomes of first Hotel ITM 4 Since the launch of the first Hotel ITM in 2016, the hotel industry has posted strong growth with record-high average occupancy of 87% and a total workforce of close to 35,000 in 2019. Over 1,400 workers across about 60 hotels benefitted from Workforce Singapore (WSG)’s Career Conversion Programme for Hotel Professionals from March 2020 to August 2022. Hotel ITM 2025 strategies 5 While the hotel industry continues to navigate post-pandemic challenges, it is well positioned to recover strongly, tapping on new consumer preferences for sustainable hospitality, digital-enabled experiences, and wellness travel. 6 The Hotel ITM 2025 builds on the success of the first ITM, laying out strategies to support the next phase of growth and transformation. Strategy 1: Capturing demand with fresh hotel concepts 7 During the pandemic, many hotels used the downtime to launch compelling and differentiated concepts, such as Oasia Resort Sentosa, Far East Hospitality’s first foray into the resort and spa category, which was launched in September 2021. The emphasis on anchoring novel and attractive hotel concepts will continue with several distinctive hotels opening in the near future, including renowned design hotel brand The Singapore EDITION, eco-resort Banyan Tree Mandai, Artyzen Singapore, and Singapore’s first villa-only hotel Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore. 8 Hotel ITM 2025 spurs hotels towards more value creation through cross-sector collaborations and new business models. This is to capture growing demand in areas such as wellness offerings and experiences that go beyond traditional stay-and-dine. Examples include an all-inclusive wellness retreat by Sofitel Singapore City Centre and Virgin Active, and Fairmont Singapore’s Razer Gamecation, where guests can stay and play in one of the world’s first luxury e-gaming suites. 9 STB will also continue to work with Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) to help local hotel chains expand internationally, and with the Economic Development Board (EDB) to encourage more global hotel brands to set up regional headquarters in Singapore. Strategy 2: Driving sustainability as a core strategy 10 In line with the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap2 announced in March 2022, STB and SHA will prioritise sustainability as a key differentiating concept. Efforts include piloting and scaling sustainability solutions in focus areas such as energy, water, waste and carbon management, as well as developing sustainable hotel concepts and promoting sustainable choices amongst hotel guests. 11 STB also expanded its Business Improvement Fund (BIF) incentive scheme to include sustainability initiatives from 1 April 2022. Hotels can also tap on WSG’s Career Conversion Programme for Sustainability Professionals (CCP-S) to reskill employees to take on new “green roles” and drive transformation. In addition, hotels can access Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses rolled out by the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and CET Centres (CETCs) like SHATEC and Ascott Centre of Excellence to grow the pipeline of sustainability professionals. Strategy 3: Gearing up for the next phase of innovation 12 From 2015 to 2020, STB awarded grants to hotels accounting for over 60% of Singapore’s hotel room stock to drive technology adoption. Under Hotel ITM 2025, STB aims to increase adoption of proven and impactful technology solutions such as STB’s E-Visitor Authentication (EVA)3 system – which uses facial recognition technology to match passport images to that of guests. When integrated with a hotel’s self check-in solution, EVA creates a fully contactless check-in experience. Currently, close to 50 hotels use EVA. To encourage greater adoption, STB recently launched the EVA-Ready Programme to match hotels with technology partners with proven solutions that can be integrated with the EVA system. 13 To improve productivity and transform the guest experience, STB will drive adoption of integrated solutions such as seamless front-of-house and back-of-house systems, powered by data analytics. These will help the industry move beyond basic standalone solutions, enabling smarter and leaner operations. Hence, SHA and FHA-HoReCa organised the inaugural Hotel Innovation Challenge Asia (HICA) 2022, inviting companies to submit solutions that can address critical pain points and capture growth opportunities. Participating companies came up with more than 100 suggestions, and solutions from eight shortlisted finalists were showcased at FHA-HoReCa today. These include solutions such as a voice assistant-enabled service robot and vending machine, as well as a food waste management system that recycles food waste into reusable resources without reducing its nutrient content. 14 STB will continue to grow digital and data capabilities for tourism enterprises, including hotels. This is through resources such as the Tourism Information & Services Hub for companies to access tourism and lifestyle content; the Singapore Tourism Analytics Network (Stan) for companies to visualise, analyse and exchange data; and the Tourism Technology Transformation Cube (Tcube) platform which brings innovative ideas to life by giving companies access to resources and digital initiatives. Strategy 4: Future-proofing the workforce 15 STB and WSG, SHA, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), FDAWU, National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) will build on foundation laid from the first Hotel ITM to future-proof the workforce. This will be done through: i) Job redesign Hotels will get support to uplift existing roles into higher value jobs and improve labour-intensive roles, while lower-skilled and mature workers will get help to advance their careers. The aim is to uplift rank-and-file wages and improve job satisfaction in the long term. ii) Upskilling and reskilling for good jobs Global trends such as digitalisation, wellness and sustainability have led to demand for digital, green and care skills in the hotel sector. Existing job roles will see content change, and new job roles will emerge. Skills such as Digital Marketing Management, Placemaking, and Design Sustainability and Ethics Management are increasingly in demand. STB will work with SSG to help workers upskill and reskill into emerging new roles such as sustainability manager, digital marketing manager, and data analyst. iii) Enabling a strong local core STB will deepen its engagement with education providers to grow a pipeline of local talent and prime students for hospitality careers. Existing STB support schemes are also available to groom local staff to take on more senior roles. Additionally, hotels are encouraged to redesign jobs to continue to tap on mature workers, as well as practise inclusive hiring. 16 “A strong and growing tourism sector needs a vibrant hotel industry. Singapore’s hotels are amongst the best in the world but they can continue to transform and grow so that Singapore’s tourism sector can capture the next phase of growth. The Hotel ITM 2025 charts a clear vision, and we look forward to working closely with our industry partners on this journey,” said Mr. Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.” 17 Ms. Kwee Wei-Lin, President, Singapore Hotel Association, said: “Despite the pandemic’s impact on the tourism sector, our hotels have demonstrated remarkable resilience and creativity. Taking full advantage of the downtime, they have successfully piloted innovative experiences, pivoted to new business models, enhanced capabilities, and refurbished their infrastructure. We will continue to work with the government to catalyse new ideas and solutions to achieve the goals of the refreshed ITM.” 18 “The Hotel ITM 2025 will speed up business and workforce transformation as well as strengthen the sector’s resilience. The new roadmap aims to future-proof the industry with deeper digital and up-to-date capabilities and well-skilled talents. This will better position our businesses to seize the emerging opportunities from global tourism trends and sustainability. We will encourage greater collaboration within and beyond the sector to create fresh, synergistic and innovative concepts across our hotel, food and retail offerings. This holistic approach will help enhance Singapore’s attraction as a compelling destination for travel, business and leisure,” said Ms. Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth and FEC Lifestyle Cluster Co-Chair. 19 “We hope hoteliers will tap on the resources available in the Hotel ITM 2025. It was specifically designed as part of the Future Economy Council’s work to support growth and continued transformation in the industry, even as its players seize opportunities in the rapidly evolving operating environment,” said Mr. Andrew Kwan, FEC Lifestyle Cluster Co-Chair from the private sector.

Many destinations across Asia and Europe have removed testing or opened their doors completely to International Travellers.


No test is required to fly or after arrival for vaccinated guests and no quarantine.


From 1 May 2022, no test is required to fly or after arrival for vaccinated guests and no quarantine. Unvaccinated travellers simply need to take a PCR test 72 hours before departure – no quarantine is required unless they are entering without a test.

Kuwait – all restrictions removed on 1 May:

All COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted from 1 May 2022.

Switzerland – all restrictions removed on 2 May:

All COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted from 2 May 2022.

Kuwait and Switzerland join Bahrain, Ireland and the UK with no test, vaccination, forms or quarantine required.


From May 1 travellers entering Greece will no longer require to carry their vaccination proof, COVID-19 negative test report or proof of recovery as Greece announced to remove all major COVID-19 restrictions


From May 1 all testing protocols for travellers into Malaysia – pre-departure and on-arrival tests – will be dropped for those who are fully vaccinated, and those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection six to 60 days before their date of departure, as well as travellers aged 12 and below.

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