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Singapore Achieves Record Tourism Sector Performance in 2016

February 21, 2017 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts exceeded forecasts to hit historical highs in 2016. While visitor arrivals grew by 7.7 per cent to 16.4 million, tourism receipts rose even higher by 13.9 per cent to $24.8 billion1. The strong tourism receipt results came on the back of visitors spending more on Food and Beverage, Shopping and Accommodation.

Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Mr Lionel Yeo, said, “We are heartened by the strong tourism sector performance in 2016. Despite challenges such as weaker economic performance in some of Singapore’s top source markets and a Zika virus outbreak, Singapore has managed to attract more quality visitors to contribute to economic growth.

Market Highlights

By Tourism Receipts (YTD 3Q2016)

From January to September 2016, there was good growth in tourism receipts across Singapore’s top ten source markets. For the second consecutive year, China (+41%) ranked top in tourism receipts, followed by India (+37%) and Indonesia (+14%). 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.

By International Visitor Arrivals (2016)

For 2016, the top growth markets visitor arrivals in terms of absolute growth were China (+36%), Indonesia (+6%), and India (+8%). The growth was due to more visitor arrivals from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in China, India and Indonesia, where STB had intensified its marketing efforts. India also overtook Australia to become Singapore’s 4th largest source market for visitor arrivals.

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.

Key Highlights in 2016

Enhancing destination attractiveness

Singapore’s vibrant tourism landscape was further enhanced with new attractions and lifestyle offerings such as KidZania Singapore, permanent digital art gallery Future World at

2 The five attractions include Singapore River Safari, Singapore Zoological Gardens, Gardens By the Bay, Orchard Road and Chinatown.

ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, COMO Dempsey and the introduction of the Michelin Guide Singapore, as well as 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 per cent year-on-year growth. These events garnered around 343,000 visitor arrivals, and generated approximately $611 million in tourism receipts, a 20 per cent and 28 per cent increase year-on-year respectively.

In 2016, the cruise industry saw cruise passenger throughput rise by 16 per cent year-on-year to about 1.2 million and welcomed 10 maiden calls. Singapore’s appeal as a cruise destination continued to be recognised with numerous industry accolades, including being ranked the Top Cruise Destination at the Seatrade Cruise Awards and the Top Asian Port of Call at the Cruisers’ Choice Cruise Critic Awards.

2017 Outlook

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.

STB will continue to work closely with tourism partners to intensify our efforts and sustain quality tourism growth.

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