Chinese travelers are returning to Singapore, but a full recovery is not expected this year

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

Singapore Tourism Board’s CEO Keith Tan cited limited flight capacity and the speed of China’s border reopening as some of the reasons a full recovery from Chinese tourists isn’t expected this year.

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

“We are hoping to get, for the whole year 2023, between 30% to 60% of where we were compared to the whole year 2019,” he said. “In our most ambitious and aggressive scenarios, we hope that things will be almost back to normal by the end of 2023.”

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

Singapore’s tourism industry is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, according to its tourism board.

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