Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, EU Holidays’ 13-day Italy,
Switzerland and Paris tour used to be their bread and butter. And while
vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) are increasingly expanding, EU Holidays
has just sent a group off on a multi-country European tour traversing
Germany, the Netherlands and France — in what they say makes "strategic
On 20 November, the agency led its inaugural multi-country tour group
of 16 travellers on a 11-day tour traversing Germany, the Netherlands
and France — also the first tour group to depart for multiple European
countries under Singapore’s VTL arrangement.
The decision to group the Netherlands, Germany and France into a
single tour package was made out of strategic sense, according to Ong
Han Jie, director of EU Holidays. Visitors would fly from Singapore into
Amsterdam and make their way by coach to the cities of Cologne, Mainz,
Heidelberg, Colmar, Dijon and finally Paris, where they would board a
flight back to Singapore.
“Since these three countries are nearer to each other compared to
other European destinations, it’ll be easier to manage VTL requirements
and safety protocols,” Ong said.
“Our former bread and butter tour which took travellers to Italy,
Switzerland and Paris over a period of 13 days may be a bit more rushed
especially when we have to take various safety measurements in
consideration along the whole journey, so we don’t think this itinerary
is suitable at the moment.”
Each tour group’s capacity has been limited to a maximum of 20
travellers, half the size of EU Holidays’ pre-covid groups. Despite the
50% cut in group capacity, Ong said that “we are still using a 40- to
45-seater coach to take our passengers around Europe, allowing for safe
distancing even on board the bus.”
In addition to that, the bus is sanitised at the end of each day,
which Ong says is “one of the safety measures imposed by the company”.
Other safety protocols include EU Holidays’ mandate for masks to be
worn throughout the duration of the trip — even though it has not been
enforced by authorities in many European countries — as Ong believes
this step will ensure that “our passengers stay safe at all times”.
“We also make it compulsory that all of our customers have a valid
insurance that covers Covid-19 clauses before departing Singapore,” Ong
added, which he estimates costs about S$200 (US$ 146) for a mid-tiered
Covid-19 travel insurance plan.
Even though travellers have to buy their own Covid-19 travel
insurance policies, EU Holidays has provided their customers another
safety layer: emergency response teams.
“[There's] one in Singapore, and others in the various countries that
our travellers visit. We choose our land operators very carefully. They
will come to our assistance if someone in our tour group tests positive
for Covid-19 and follow up with the situation on the ground, including
facilitating the passenger’s treatment, and informing the Ministry of
Health (MOH) and the passenger’s relatives.”
The travel agency aims to further cater to the pent-up demand of
Singaporean travellers with the additional release of inaugural tours to
South Korea and Italy, which also practises the same safety protocols.
“We check with the Singapore ministry and the relevant countries’
ministries to make sure that departing groups can be safely and securely
managed by us. There’s a lot of liaising to make sure that we can bring
our groups safely across,” Ong said. “In the event that there’s any
tightening measures during the course of the tour, we have also liaised
with airlines to make sure that we can bring our passengers back home
“Due to our extensive safety protocols undertaken during our previous
VTL tours, travellers are growing increasingly confident in choosing us
as their preferred travel planner,” Ong shared. “We want to ensure that
the confidence our customers showed us for what we have previously done
can be further enhanced.”
to Ong, EU Holidays currently holds the biggest list of confirmed tour
groups in Singapore, with more than 50 groups scheduled to depart on the
company’s full range of leisure tours within November and December