Singapore’s 2017 tally of visitor arrivals rose by 6.2 percent year-on-year, to a record 17.4 million, as the city-state welcomed more travellers from its top source markets, including China, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Monday.
Tourism receipts increased by 3.9 percent to SGD26.8 billion (US$20.3 billion) in 2017, according to preliminary estimates. Both tourism receipts and visitor arrivals touched record highs for the second time in two years, said the STB.
Following a peak of 15.6 million arrivals in 2013, growth in tourist arrivals to Singapore had stalled, declining to 15.1 million in 2014 and 15.2 million in 2015. The strong pickup in tourist numbers seen in the last two years had been driven – show official data – by arrivals of Chinese visitors; a customer segment that has recovered strongly since mid-2015, after earlier declines.
The number of visitors from China increased by 12.7 percent year-on-year in 2017, to nearly 3.23 million. They accounted for approximately 18.5 percent of the aggregate number of visitors to Singapore in the full year, meaning China remains Singapore’s largest single source market for tourists.
Singapore’s top-three source markets for tourists in 2017 included Indonesia and India, with the latter posting the highest growth rate for arrivals, at 15.9 percent year-on-year, to about 1.27 million visitor arrivals to the city-state last year.
China also ranked number one for contribution to Singapore’s tourism receipts for the third consecutive year, said the STB in a press conference on Monday. The jump in spending was driven by the growth in arrivals from all 10 of Singapore’s top feeder markets, “including high-spending ones such as China, South Korea and the United States,” said the tourism board.
Data from the first nine months of 2017 show that China (+10 percent), the U.S. (+22 percent) and the United Kingdom (+24 percent) registered the highest year-on-year absolute growth in tourism receipts, excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming.
According to the STB, growth in tourism receipts from visitors from China and the United Kingdom was attributed to an increase in leisure visitors, as well as a higher spend on shopping.
The tourism board did not provide a breakdown for spending on sightseeing, entertainment and gaming. Singapore is host to two casino resorts: Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore Plc; and Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
The STB said it expects visitor arrivals in the range of 17.6 million to 18.1 million for 2018. It also forecast tourism receipts between SGD27.1 billion and SGD27.6 billion for this year.
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