SINGAPORE — China started reopening its borders today (8 Jan) after close to three years of self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was reported that the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) would be launching a big marketing campaign to target Chinese travellers to come visit Singapore.
China remains an important market for Singapore, STB noted.
Mr Andrew Phua, STB Executive Director for Greater China, said, “Throughout the pandemic, STB has continued to build affinity for Singapore as a destination among Chinese travellers.”
“With China reopening borders from Jan 8 and imminent outbound travel in due time, STB is partnering with Chinese travel company CTrip to launch a joint marketing campaign with a greater focus on quality and premium experiences for forward bookings,” he added.
“This is the first promotional destination campaign by STB and CTrip since China’s latest announcement.”
He said that STB will gear up for the resumption of outbound travel from China by continuing marketing and trade engagement efforts.
Chinese citizens told the Straits Times that they are looking forward to coming to Singapore. Beijing-based Colin Li, is planning a trip in April or May.
But he has to first renew his passport, which expired two years ago. China suspended passport renewal for non-essential travel in July 2021 to prevent new Covid-19 variants from being brought into the country. The Chinese immigration authority now said it will resume granting new passports to Chinese citizens who wish to travel.
Another Beijing-based resident is Liu Yue. She has been eyeing Singapore as a destination since seeing an online video clip which featured the Marina Bay skyline more than a year ago. She heard Singapore is “fun, with great food and shopping, but expensive”. Still, she is keen to come.
Her passport also expired two years ago and has to renew it first, now that the Chinese authorities have started issuing passports again.
Alarmed by the sudden increase in COVID cases as well as the lack of transparency in data dissemination in China, many countries have gone ahead imposing or considering curbs on travellers from China.
Many are imposing mandatory negative COVID tests on travellers from China:
- UNITED STATES
- ITALY (Covid tests on arrival)
- MALAYSIA (screen inbound travellers for fever)
- TAIWAN (Covid tests on arrival)
- SOUTH KOREA
- MOROCCO (ban people arriving from China)
In Singapore, border measures and vaccination requirements for travellers from China remain unchanged, although the Ministry of Health said it will make appropriate adjustments “should the need arise”. Hence, no negative Covid tests are required for travellers from China.