Singapore extends Chinese visas to boost tourism

The Singapore government has extended the validity of the Multiple Journey Visa (MJV) for Chinese travellers, in an effort to attract more visitors to the country.

The move, which was announced this week by the country’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), will extend the validity of MJVs issued to mainland Chinese visitors to a maximum of 10 years. This is intended to make it easier for Chinese nationals to return to Singapore, without having to reapply for a visa for each trip.

Singapore will offer 10-year multiple entry visas for Chinese nationals
Singapore will offer 10-year multiple entry visas for Chinese nationals

The move was welcomed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

“This move will support STB’s strategy of promoting quality tourism and attracting visitors from our key source markets,” said Leong Yue Kheong, assistant chief executive of the STB’s international group. “It is also timely as we intensify our destination marketing efforts this year, with an exciting calendar of activities planned in conjunction with Singapore’s 50th anniversary.

“Besides China, STB is also reaching out to visitors from other key markets including Indonesia, India and Australia,” Leong added.

The STB said it is also working with the Singapore embassy in China to expand the network of authorised visa agents who can deliver visas to Chinese nationals.

The move to lure more Chinese tourists comes at a time when visitor arrivals to Singapore are waning. The city state welcomed 15.1 million international visitors in 2014, down 3% year-on-year. And Chinese arrivals to Singapore slumped 24% last year, to just 1.7m.

This trend continued in the first two months of the year, with Singapore experiencing a 5.5% overall decline in visitors in January and February 2015, and a 3% drop in arrivals from mainland China.

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