By Lin Wenbo, Xi Boyu
Editor: Zhou Meng, Shi Yimai
Following Malaysia, Singapore has announced its plan to implement a 30-day visa-free policy for Chinese tourists.
On Dec 7, the Prime Minister's Office of Singapore announced the implementation of a 30-day mutual visa-free agreement with China. The details of this policy are expected to be outlined earlier in 2024. This development follows similar initiatives by Malaysia and Thailand; Malaysia started a short-term visa-free policy for Chinese citizens on Dec 1, 2023, and Thailand's exemption period runs from Sep 25, 2023, to Feb 29, 2024.
( Source: Screenshot from the Prime Minister's Office Singapore website announcement）
After the announcement, a significant surge in interest in Singaporean travel was observed on various Chinese tourism platforms data from Ctrip Travel Agency shows that as of 1pm on Dec 7, searches for Singapore increased by 80%, flight searches by 90%, and hotel searches by 50% following the announcement.
( Source:Google web )
Increased Popularity Anticipated for "Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand" Tours
A Journalist from Nadi Bangi interviewed Chen Mengting, an employee at Shanghai Yoha youha Tourism Information Co., Ltd. She said: "Currently, the market for one-way travel information to Singapore is gradually increasing. However, it's noteworthy that the interest in travel routes involving Malaysia-Singapore, Thailand-Singapore, and the tri-country tour of Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand is also significantly increasing. We anticipate substantial growth in the tourism market for Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand next year, following the implementation of Singapore's visa-free policy."
Tongcheng Travel Agency has already launched a unique campaign for the 2024 Spring Festival outbound travel, featuring multiple travel packages, including Singapore.
( Source:Tongcheng Travel Agency Website )
Zheng Wenjie, an international student in Malaysia, said: "I have always thought about traveling to Singapore because it's very convenient from Kuala Lumpur, but the visa requirement has been a barrier. Once the visa-free policy is implemented, I can easily go to Singapore when I have a break on Friday and then return to school for classes on Monday morning. This makes it very convenient for me."
Qin Jing, a Chinese citizen currently travelling in Malaysia, said: "Once Singapore implements the visa-free policy, I can not only travel in Malaysia but also conveniently realize my long-planned 'Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand' tour, as I can use the money saved from visa fees to book flights and hotels."
Visa-Free Policy to Greatly Facilitate the Lives of Chinese Citizens
The visa-free policy for Singapore not only stimulates the development of the tourism industry but also provides convenience for Chinese citizens with various needs travelling to Singapore.
Journalist Nadi Bangi has interviewed Chinese citizen Lai Xiaomin, whose child is studying and working in Singapore. Lai and her husband often fly to Singapore to visit their daughter, usually at least four times a year. Upon hearing the news of Singapore's impending visa waiver, Mrs. Lai happily stated, "With our yearly four trips, my husband and I can save approximately 2,800 yuan on visa fees. This amount is equivalent to two one-way flight tickets from Nanjing to Singapore. The money we save will allow us to buy and bring back many local specialties from Singapore."
With the gradual recovery of the tourism industry and the increase in international flights, Southeast Asian countries are becoming increasingly popular destinations for Chinese tourists. Singapore's visa-free policy is expected to further this trend, bringing new business opportunities and development prospects to the region.