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Mon, 3 April 2023

Singapore Resumes Free Tours for Transit and Transfer Passengers

(03/04/23)  Singapore has resumed free tours of the city for transit and transfer passengers who have a layover of at least 5.5 but less than 24 hours.

Participants will also need to have a valid entry visa for Singapore to take part in the tours.

Organised by Changi Airport Group (CAG), Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the tours have resumed after a three-year hiatus caused by COVID19.

Three of the tours available since pre-COVID - the City Sights Tour, Heritage Tour and Jewel Tour - have been refreshed to include new points of interest, whilst a brand new Changi Precinct Tour will introduce travellers to the interesting sights and sounds of the eastern region surrounding Singapore Changi Airport.

Each tour lasts 2.5 hours and will be available daily, with plans to progressively increase the schedule to nine tours per day.

Singapore. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Singapore. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

With transit and transfer passengers accounting for about 30% of passenger traffic at Changi Airport pre-pandemic, the tour was first introduced in 1987 to enhance the airport’s attractiveness as a transfer hub and to encourage transit and transfer passengers to visit Singapore as a holiday destination.

In 2019, over 80,000 passengers went on a Free Singapore Tour with the top markets being India, Australia, and Indonesia, with Indian and Australian travellers making up more than one third of the total participants.

“We are delighted to bring back the Free Singapore Tour through our long-standing partnership with CAG and SIA. It is imperative for us to refresh our tourism offerings to meet the demand for wellness and eco-conscious travel, and cater to travellers seeking deeper experiences,” said Chang Chee Pey, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board. “We hope that the tour will inspire transit and transfer passengers to plan a longer trip to Singapore in future, and discover much more of what our vibrant city has to offer.”

The Changi Precinct Tour is a new itinerary that will bring participants to the eastern part of Singapore to visit local community spaces such as the Tampines heartland, and to admire the rustic charms of Changi Village and Changi Beach. It offers a glimpse of how local residents live, and tells the tale of Singapore’s history on this part of the island, away from the usual hustle and bustle of Singapore’s city centre.

With the Jewel Tour, in addition to visiting popular attractions like the Shiseido Forest Valley and the HSBC Rain Vortex, participants can now discover more about Singapore’s food heritage through local brands such as Bee Cheng Hiang and Tong Garden, and sample local snacks at the same time. Another new component of the tour is a free guided walkthrough of a digital attraction - Changi Experience Studio - for participants to experience some of its airport-themed games and interactive exhibits.

New pit stops in the City Sights Tour include the Civic District, where travellers will get an introduction to Singapore’s urban development through visits to various national monuments including the National Gallery Singapore, Anderson Bridge, and The Padang. The bus route will also pass through the new Marina Bay Financial District enroute to Gardens by the Bay.

The Heritage Tour, available from June, will feature places of interest such as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown, Arab Street, and Haji Lane, for participants to gain a more in-depth understanding of Singapore’s unique and diverse multi-cultural heritage.

“The Free Singapore Tour was very popular among our transit and transfer passengers prior to the COVID19 pandemic, and we are happy to bring it back with the resumption of travel,” said Lim Ching Kiat, Executive Vice President of Air Hub & Cargo Development at CAG. “For travellers who choose to transit or transfer at Changi Airport, the Free Singapore Tour is designed to give them a glimpse of what Singapore has to offer, including the unique attractions and offerings at Jewel Changi Airport and the neighbouring Changi Precinct which has a rich cultural and historical heritage. Together with our partners, SIA and STB, we hope to welcome more passengers who fly through Changi Airport to enjoy a slice of Singapore through our new tours and world-class attractions and facilities.”

The refreshed itineraries also highlight sustainability features at some of the locations featured in the tours, to give participants an overview of Singapore’s sustainability efforts. These include the Eco Community Garden at the rooftop of Our Tampines Hub (as part of the Changi Precinct Tour) environmental sustainability initiatives implemented at Gardens by the Bay (as part of the City Sights Tour) and Jewel (as part of the Jewel Tour).

Lee Lik Hsin, Executive Vice President Commercial, Singapore Airlines, said, “We welcome the timely relaunch of the enhanced Free Singapore Tour, which offers a unique transit experience for our customers. We are pleased to continue working closely with CAG and STB to promote the sustainable growth of travel to and through Singapore.”

Monster Day Tours has been appointed by CAG, SIA, and STB to run the Free Singapore Tours and advance booking is available on Changi Airport’s website.

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