Singapore: tourism recovery will take 5 years

Casinos will aim to target locals with no foreign tourists.
Casinos will aim to target locals with no foreign tourists.

According to the chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, it will take “many years” to return to pre-Covid-19 levels of visitors.

Singapore.- Keith Tan, the chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has predicted that it could take up to five years for a full recovery of tourism in the country.

According to local media, Keith Tan said: “It will take many years, possibly three to five years, for international visitor arrivals to return to 2019 pre-Covid-19 levels”.

He discussed the situation of the tourism industry after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during an online conference.

Without foreign visitors, the city-state’s two casino complexes, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, have already been working on options to balance their numbers by marketing hotel facilities to domestic customers.

The government announced this week measures for phase three in its reopening. Gathering sizes will still be limited, and masks must be worn on public transport.

This stage would also involve Singapore “gradually” reopening its borders, “for Singaporeans to conduct essential activities overseas and to allow safe travel for foreigners entering or transiting through Singapore”.

According to STB data for the calendar year to July 31, visitor arrivals fell to 2.7 million, down 76 per cent year-on-year. In 2019, the tally of visitors was 19.1 million, up 3.3 per cent year-on-year.

STB’s Mr Tan said: “We need to be prepared for travellers who are looking for more exclusive, smaller-scale or special experiences that are hard to find elsewhere, because we believe that in the years after Covid-19, people will not be travelling so frequently”.

The country currently still has 294 active Covid-19 cases.

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