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Recovering despite lack of Chinese visitors


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

China’s passenger traffic is important for Singapore, he said. Some 3.6 million Chinese residents traveled to Singapore in 2019, accounting for 13% of total visitors, in keeping with data from the local tourism board.

China remained among the many top sources of tourists to Singapore in the course of the pandemic, but that could be changing as other countries chill out border measures. In April, Singapore received just 5,000 visitors from China, lower than 2% of total arrivals, data showed.

Travelers to China still must take multiple Covid tests and quarantine upon arrival within the country.

Still, there are opportunities for growth in travel, Iswaran told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick and Geoff Cutmore on Wednesday on the World Economic Forum.

“We have seen a major rebound in air travel coming through Singapore, within the space of lower than two months from mid March to mid May,” said Iswaran.

“Our volumes have greater than doubled to around 40 odd percent of pre-Covid, and we expect that momentum to proceed,” he added.

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