Singapore saw tourism receipts increase in the first three months of 2017. The growth was due to higher visitor arrivals and spending in all major tourism components, “except sightseeing, entertainment and gaming, which held steady,” said the Singapore Tourism Board in its latest quarterly report on the performance of the city-state’s tourism sector.
Visitor arrivals grew approximately 4 percent year-on-year to 4.3 million in the first quarter of 2017, driven by growth in the key markets of China and Indonesia, said the tourism board.
The number of visitors from China reached approximately 851,000 in the three months to March 31, up 14 percent from the prior-year period, while the tally of visitors from Indonesia rose by 2 percent year-on-year to 720,000. The number of visitors from Australia and India increased by 6 percent and 7 percent, respectively, to 272,000 and 241,000.
Tourism receipts for the first quarter rose by approximately 15 percent year-on-year to SGD6.4 billion (US$4.7 billion) on the back of increased food and beverage, shopping and accommodation spending, the tourism board said.
Tourist spending on sightseeing, entertainment and gaming remained flat in year-on-year terms, at SGD1.08 billion, accounting for about 17 percent of total tourism receipts in the period.
Excluding spending on sightseeing, entertainment and gaming, tourists from China were the top spenders in Singapore, forking out nearly SGD1.08 billion, with the bulk of the spending going to shopping.
Singapore is host to two casino resorts: Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore Plc; and Marina Bay Sands (pictured), run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Both casino operators are seeing a rebound in revenue this year, after reporting declines in gaming revenue at their properties last year. Genting Singapore said revenue from its gaming operations increased 12.0 percent year-on-year to SGD876.6 million in the first half of 2017, while Las Vegas Sands saw its gaming revenue at Marina Bay Sands increase by 22.8 percent to US$1.24 billion.
For 2017, the Singapore Tourism Board is forecasting tourism receipts to grow in the range of 1 percent to 4 percent, or in full-year aggregate terms to SGD25.1 billion to SGD25.8 billion. For visitor arrivals, the body is targeting a growth of up to 2 percent, or a total of up to 16.7 million tourists.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia