SINGAPORE – Originally slated for a Feb 21 launch, the annual three-day NATAS trade show has been pushed back to May 1 to 3, amid concerns of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) organises two of such massive travel fairs yearly; the first in Feb or March, and the second in August or September.
These fairs typically welcome over 110,000 a year, hosted by exhibitors including airlines, hotels, and travel agencies. About 90 exhibitors had already signed up for the February 2020 edition.
According to NATAS President Steven Ler, participating exhibitors had expressed concern over the expected turnout for the show. Major travel agency Dynasty Travel is one such vendor, “At this juncture of the virus crisis, it is certainly not timely to stage a travel event,” said its director of public relations and communications Alicia Seah. She also cited possible slow travel demands.
However, there are still requests for NATAS to consider holding a “smaller fair” this month, a decision that Mr Ler says will depend on interest levels.
Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, had warned last week that the virus outbreak will impact Singapore’s economy, in particular its tourism-related sectors.
To help affected businesses, targeted measures have been released. These include STB waiving licence fees for hotels, travel agents and tour guides, while the Hotels Licensing Board will waive licence fees for hotels for the rest of 2020. For full story, click here.