SINGAPORE: Travel agencies have welcomed the new high—speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur as a major boost to tourism.
To cash in on the new rail, some agencies have already started exploring ways to tweak their current promotions.
Malaysia was one of Singapore’s top five tourism receipt—generating markets for the second quarter of last year, raking in S$253 million.
And travel agents such as CTC Travel expect travel between Singapore and Malaysia to grow further with the new rail link.
Ms Alicia Seah, Vice President of Marketing at CTC Travel, said: "With Malaysia as a backdrop, we will see our in—bound tourism prosper. I think what we will see is a greater offering for tourists especially from the Western side — be it Australia, Europe or Japan."
And travel agencies are already exploring options to cash in on the new rail.
Ms Michelle Yin, Marketing Communications Manager for Chan Brothers Travel elaborates.
"What we can do is to model after what we are doing for Europe currently. Because for Europe, we have holiday packages whereby we include rail passes, transfers and even one—day city tours for the free and easy customers," she said.
Ms Seah has more on CTC’s plans.
"We foresee that customers can now opt to have a three—night stay in Singapore and then stay in Malaysia for four nights. And because of the high—speed train into KL, it will have a spillover effect into other hotspots such as Ipoh, Malacca and the eastern side like Kuantan," she said.
Travel agents also hope that visa applications for visitors from China and India into Malaysia could be expedited.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the new high—speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will transform the two cities into one virtual urban community.
Travellers welcome the change as it gives them an additional option to choose from, when making travel plans within the region.
Mr Alan Liew, a Singaporean, said: "Depending (on the timing), they can leave on the morning train and then come back on the last train back to Singapore. So it saves one night hotel accommodation."
Mr Anos Enrado, a tourist from Philippines, said: "This is nice because it makes Asian countries more connected and it’s much faster travelling to other countries."
Many are looking forward to shopping, dining and having a short vacation across the Causeway — made easier soon, with the rail link.
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