Singapore in Numbers - Travelers to Singapore
In preparation for a conference on workforce mobility for Human Resources Online, FYT conducted some research to better understand the impact of the Covid19 Pandemic on global travel volume, policies and its implications on global mobility in the near future. While many can appreciate the the global travel numbers to and from Singapore are down, it is hard to appreciate how hard it had hit Singapore's status as a travel hub. Singapore used to handle over 1.7M travelers per month in pre-Covid times and dropped to virtually zero at the start of 2020. Traveler volumes have since grown to about 24,000 as at Dec 2020; largely from China, Indonesia and India. But given the occasional spikes in many countries globally and across Asia Pacific as well as the reinstatement of heightened travel measures, we do not see global mobility returning in a big way anytime soon. Certainly not a popular thing to say at the conference; but there were a few bright spots and key observations:
The pandemic has shown organizations and individuals that cross border objectives can be achieved even through virtual means. But it required both to leverage new technology and build new management skills to get there; and not all have achieved proficiency at it.
Being human, many still crave human interaction; we do expect global mobility to return at some level. But it is unlikely to achieve the same levels in the past As the previous point has shown, there is less business justification since the virtual option works and is much cheaper. Developing markets now also boasts similar levels of talent as some developed markets; with the pandemic, there is ample supply without having to resort to Expatriates.
Some level of mobility remains even during the pandemic; however, such cases are very rare. Such opportunities requires that the company, individual and national interests are aligned. For example, Singapore had approved the establishment of the vaccine manufacturing facility; where we imagine would require global experts from developed markets.
Check out the interactive data visualization for yourself