Singapore, Jan 17 (EFE).- Singapore aspires to double the number of tourists traveling to the island this year, compared to 2022, to between 12 and 14 million visitors, given the opening of China and the increase in air connections.
The island’s Tourism Board said in a statement Tuesday that the city-state expects to earn up to SGD 21 billion (about $16 billion) from tourism in 2023, compared to $14 billion received in 2022.
Then the thriving city-state, one of the most visited destinations in Southeast Asia, welcomed 6.3 million visitors, as it began to lift entry restrictions imposed in the wake of the pandemic, now lifted entirely.
“We expect the tourism sector to continue on the growth path this year, at the risk of increasing flight capacity and connectivity and the gradual reopening of China,” the agency said in a statement.
Singapore received 3.6 million visitors from China in 2019, before the impact of the pandemic, boosting the world’s second largest economy as the main source of tourists to the island.
Unlike other Asian countries, such as Japan or South Korea, Singapore, which maintained a strict contagion monitoring policy for which it practically closed its borders until last year, has not imposed any controls – such as PCR tests – on Chinese travelers arriving in the country.
Singapore said the volume of trips from China to the island is still low – about 10 percent, in contrast to pre-Covid-19 levels – as Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said to explain why controls were not established on Chinese tourists.
Tourism accounts for about 4 percent of China’s gross domestic product, according to the Singapore Tourism Board. EFE