China and Singapore to allow mutual visa-free travel

On 25 January, ahead of the Chinese New Year travel season, the hotly anticipated reciprocal visa exemption deal between China and Singapore was finally signed, with its details confirmed.

From 9 February, CNY Eve, travellers with passports from either China or Singapore will be able to enter the reciprocal country visa-free and remain for 30 days. The policy is limited to private purposes like tourism, visiting family or business. Employment and work like journalism will still need to be pre-approved and require visas.

Previously, Singaporean nationals could travel to China for 15 days without the need for a visa. The policy was paused during Covid-related restrictions and resumed on 26 July 2023. On the other hand, Chinese nationals have always needed a visa to visit the Southeast Asian country.

According to the travel booking platform Fliggy, searches for flights and hotels to Singapore surged 15 and 6 times respectively within an hour after the announcement. Singapore has also become the number 5 hottest destination for the 9-day CNY holidays. On another platform, Qunar, searches for hotels in Singapore quadrupled.

With popular destinations like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand all offering visa-free entry to Chinese tourists, travelling abroad is expected to pick up further after a lukewarm recovery in 2023.


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