Tourism industry in Singapore reaches historical highs in 2016 with breaking records for visitor arrivals, and more importantly, for tourism spend, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) statement said on Tuesday (14 Feb).
Both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts exceeded forecasts in 2016, while visitor arrivals grew by 7.7 percent to 16.4 million, tourism receipts rose even higher by 13.9 percent to $24.8 billion.
For the second consecutive year, China (+41%) ranked top in tourism receipts, followed by Indonesia (+14%) and India (+37%).
Tourism receipts from China increased mainly due to a volume-driven growth while Indonesia and India saw tourism receipts growing on the back of visitors spending more on shopping and accommodation, the STB statement said.
The largest declines in visitor arrivals were posted by Hong Kong (-12%), Malaysia (-2%), Australia (-2%), South Korea (-2%) and Japan (-1%). The decline for Hong Kong was largely attributed to its weaker economic performance, while Malaysia’s depreciating ringgit dampened travel to Singapore.
The record-breaking achievement was reached in spite of the sluggish economic and the last August Zika outbreak in Singapore, and following a poor performance in 2015, when tourism spend fell for the first time in six years.
For 2017, the STB forecasts tourism receipts to be in the range of $25.1-$25.8 billion (+1 to 4%) and international visitor arrivals to be in the range of 16.4-16.7 million (0 to +2%).
Global economic and political uncertainties will probably continue to persist and there will be increasing regional competition for tourism dollars. “However, Singapore can benefit from the projected tourism growth in the Asia-Pacific region,” the STB said.
Enhancing destination attractiveness
STB noted that Singapore’s vibrant tourism landscape was enhanced with new attractions and lifestyle offerings such as:
- KidZania Singapore;
- Future World at ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands;
- The lifestyle destination COMO Dempsey;
- The introduction of the Michelin Guide Singapore; and,
- Rejuvenated tourism offerings such as the Chinatown Heritage Centre and the newly relocated Zouk at Clarke Quay.
The Singapore calendar of events also remained vibrant with new events such as Ultra Singapore and the inaugural HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, together with its strong after-party element, “Music After 7” at Clarke Quay.
On the business tourism front, STB supported more than 410 business events held in 2016, a 15 percent year-on-year growth. These events garnered around 343,000 visitor arrivals, and generated approximately $611 million in tourism receipts, a 20 percent and 28 percent increase year-on-year respectively, STB said.