SINGAPORE: Singapore has emerged as the 6th most popular global destination for Chinese tourists and the 5th most favored among Asian tourists, in a recent report by Alipay. The findings, based on Alipay+ data, also revealed Singapore’s prominence as a top choice for travel during the Chinese New Year festivities.

The report highlighted Singapore’s position alongside Thailand and Malaysia as one of the preferred markets for Chinese and Asian tourists during the Lunar New Year period. Notably, spending in the city-state during the first seven days of the Chinese New Year was reported to be on par with pre-Covid levels, reminiscent of the year 2019.

A significant contributing factor to the surge in travel and expenditure was the 30-day visa-free travel arrangement implemented between China and Singapore.

The report indicated that Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand collectively experienced a remarkable 7.5% increase in Chinese tourists compared to 2019 levels. This surge represented an extraordinary 580% jump from the tourism numbers recorded in 2023.

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Cherry Huang, the general manager of Alipay+ offline merchant services at Ant International, expressed optimism about the trend. Huang emphasized the global correlation between the rise in Chinese tourist numbers and the introduction of visa-free policies, foreseeing a positive outlook for welcoming more Chinese tourists to Singapore throughout 2024.

Apart from traditional shopping sprees, the report highlighted diverse spending patterns among tourists in Singapore. Beyond retail, visitors to the Lion City allocated substantial funds towards attractions, local gastronomic experiences, and everyday conveniences like taxis and convenience stores.

As Singapore solidifies its standing as a preferred destination for Chinese and Asian tourists, industry experts anticipate continued growth in tourism fueled by strategic policies and the enduring appeal of the city-state.