Indians drive Singapore's soaring tourism figures
Singapore tourism numbers have been climbing since it re-opened its borders to foreign visitors earlier this year with Indians making the largest number of visitors by country of origin. The island city-state now accepts all fully vaccinated travellers from around the world without any need for testing or quarantine.
Indians are making up for the missing Chinese and have since the beginning of the year, been the largest group of nationals travelling to Singapore. About 95,500 Indians entered Singapore from January to April.
Passenger traffic at Changi Airport is expected to reach more than 40 percent of pre-COVID levels this month and the number is expected to reach 50 percent in the coming months with one of the two terminals closed since COVID preparing to re-open.
Tourist numbers are rising so rapidly that travel related firms and those providing services to visitors like restaurants are struggling to keep up with the demand. Customers have been complaining about poor service due to the lack of service staff. The Singapore government is at the moment trying to help firms hire enough people to cope.
In a Bloomberg interview on the side of the Changi Aviation Summit, Singapore's Transport Minister S Iswaran said that Singapore will strive to keep its borders open and stay connected to the rest of world even if a new variant of Covid-19 emerges.
One of the companies benefiting from Singapore's re-opening is its flag carrier Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines said that it carried 1.45 million passengers in April, the most since the pandemic. As international borders re-open and people begin to travel again, the airline expects to reach 61 percent of pre-COVID passenger capacity by June and around 67 percent of pre-COVID levels by September. By September, it also expects to server over 70 percent of its pre-COVID destinations.