Singapore scores early win in race for return of Chinese tourists: Bloomberg

Singapore received over 327,000 visitors from the Chinese mainland in February, about 96% of the level in 2019.

Singapore received over 327,000 visitors from the Chinese mainland in February, about 96 percent of the level in 2019, distinguished from global tourism awaiting the return of Chinese tourists, according to a recent story published by Bloomberg.

The recovery in Singapore's tourism outpaced gains in neighboring markets, with Thailand's tourism at around 63 percent of pre-pandemic levels in February and Indonesia's at about 48 percent in the latest quarter, the article said.

Visitors from China to Europe are expected to be about 40 percent lower than the number in 2019, while the total arrivals from China in the United States this year will be 73 percent of pre-COVID levels, according to the article.

The story noted that Singapore's decision to drop visa requirements for visitors from China, its focus on safety, and its push into unique cultural and entertainment events positioned it to benefit from Chinese tourists.

Growing air links bring the two countries closer. The scheduled seat capacity between China and Singapore is expected to reach 101 percent of the 2019 level in the first quarter this year, leading to a recovery among key outbound travel markets in China.

Chinese tourists are also spending more. Data from shows the average outlay per visit to Singapore for expenses like flights and hotels rose 30 percent from a year earlier.

Singapore's focus on safety has helped revive post-COVID travel. It remains a top draw for Chinese travelers who consider crime one of their main concerns.

Also, the strong cultural ties between China and Singapore make the country more comfortable and alluring for Chinese visitors.

Singapore is also rolling out events that would appeal to young Chinese people, such as Taylor Swift's last show.

The article said Swift's popularity sparked an influx of foreign visitors and prompted economists to raise their forecasts for Singapore's economic performance.

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