Tourism arrivals and tourism receipts are expected to remain weak in 2021 even with the development of several vaccines as it will take time for mass leisure travel and traveller confidence to return, said Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
In a statement on Monday (1 Feb), the STB stated that Singapore saw a decline in both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts last year due to unprecedented global travel restrictions and border closures.
According to the board, visitor arrivals (VA) fell by 85.7 per cent in 2020 to reach 2.7 million visitors — nearly all from the first two months of 2020 — while tourism receipts (TR) declined by 78.4 per cent to S$4.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2020.
Chief Executive of STB, Keith Tan, said that tourism businesses have displayed immense resilience and adaptability throughout this difficult period by reinventing their business models and leveraging technology to find solutions in a COVID-19 world.
“I am grateful for their commitment to keep Singaporeans safe and well and STB remains confident in Singapore’s position as one of the world’s safest and most attractive leisure and business destination, and the long-term prospects of Singapore’s tourism sector,” he added.
Mr Tan went on to say that while mass international travel is unlikely to resume in a major way in 2021, STB will continue to stand together with industry partners to prepare for recovery and to start building a better and more sustainable future for tourism.
In its statement, STB also noted that it will continue to support quality tourism businesses to sustain key capabilities and build new ones, and to innovate in order to meet evolving consumer needs and emerging travel trends once cross-border travel resumes in a significant way in 2021.
Additionally, the board said that it will continue to support local jobs and create opportunities for the industry to thrive in the new environment by encouraging domestic advocacy and building domestic demand.