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a full recovery not expected this 12 months

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Singapore is welcoming them back, but a full return of Chinese tourists is not likely in 2023, Singapore Tourism Board executives said at a press conference Tuesday.

Singapore Tourism Board’s CEO Keith Tan cited limited flight capability and the speed of China’s border reopening as a few of the reasons a full recovery from Chinese tourists is not expected this 12 months.

Tan told CNBC that travel recovery from China is unlikely to exceed 60% of pre-Covid levels by year-end.

“We hope to get, for the entire 12 months 2023, between 30% to 60% of where we were in comparison with the entire 12 months 2019,” he said. “In our most ambitious and aggressive scenarios, we hope that things might be almost back to normal by the top of 2023.”

Currently, the variety of flights from Singapore to China is barely 10% of what it was pre-Covid. Unlike other countries in Asia, Singapore has not imposed recent Covid-related restrictions on travelers from China.

Singapore’s tourism industry is anticipated to recuperate to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, based on its tourism board.

Competition from Hong Kong

Tan said he welcomes competition from Hong Kong when it comes to MICE — meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.

Hong Kong “will throw quite a lot of resources to secure and anchor an entire range of events,” he said.

“I welcome that competition. I believe it is sweet, and I’m glad that Hong Kong is back in business … but that also implies that now we have to work harder at securing set of events and investments for Singapore.”

Juliana Kua, assistant CEO of Singapore Tourism Board, added that there’s “a powerful pipeline of MICE events coming up to draw Chinese corporate travelers.”

Kua said that a trend observed amongst Chinese travelers is small group bookings with customized itineraries, fairly than off-the-shelf packaged tours. The Singapore Tourism Board is targeting these travelers, she said.

Singapore’s international visitor arrivals reached 6.3 million in 2022, which is 33% of 2019 levels, based on Singapore Tourism Board’s statistics. About 1.1 million visitors got here from Indonesia, the very best variety of arrivals from any country.

Preliminary estimates for tourism receipts are between $13.8 billion and $14.3 billion Singapore dollars ($10.4 billion and $10.8 billion), which is around half of 2019’s tourism revenue.

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