Singapore in talks with Australia on relaxing travel ban

Singapore's casino industry is largely dependant on foreign visitors.
Singapore's casino industry is largely dependant on foreign visitors.

Singapore hopes bilateral travel agreements with Australia might help boost tourism and gaming revenues.

Singapore.- Authorities have revealed that Singapore is in talks with Australia on easing travel restrictions between the two countries.

The South-East Asian country’s transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, said his department was working with Australian authorities to establish “the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates and resumption of travel with priority for students and business travellers”.

In 2020, Singapore’s visitor arrivals declined by 85.7 per cent to 2.74 million. Most of those arrived in the first few months of the year before national lockdowns and travel restrictions swept the world.

The country’s casino industry is largely dependant on foreign visitors, with the state’s policy of introducing casino resorts focused on boosting tourism.

The country has tried to promote local tourism, which has helped but comes nowhere near close to generate a recovery for the gaming sector.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Australia is a key partner of Singapore in the region. We are in discussions on how to cooperate in opening our economies safely, taking into consideration the Covid-19 situation in both countries.”

The ministry stated that the two countries were “not in discussion on the concept of a quarantine centre or vaccination hub,” provoking questions about how the bilateral agreement would work.

It is rumoured that bilateral travel bubbles for travellers that have been vaccinated coming from countries with low to moderate infection rates might be possible in the second half of this year.

Analysts at Kenanga Research have reported that the recovery of Singapore’s integrated resorts giant Genting Singapore will largely depend on the lifting of current travel restrictions.

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