Business

Recovering despite the lack of Chinese customers

Air travel in Singapore is recovering and has reached about 40% of pre-Covid levels despite China’s border restrictions, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said.

China’s passenger traffic is important to Singapore, he said. About 3.6 million Chinese residents visited Singapore in 2019, accounts for 13% of total visitors, according to data from the local tourism board.

China remains among the top sources of visitors to Singapore during the pandemic, but that could change as other countries relax border measures. In April, Singapore received just 5,000 visitors from China, less than 2% of total visitors, the data showed.

Visitors to China still need to undergo multiple Covid tests and quarantine upon arrival in the country.

Iswaran told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick and Geoff Cutmore at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, there are still opportunities to grow tourism.

“We have seen a significant recovery in air travel through Singapore, in a period of less than two months from mid-March to mid-May,” Iswaran said.

“Our volume has more than doubled to around 40-odd percent of pre-Covid and we expect that momentum to continue,” he added.

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