Banking group Nomura says it has a “more cautious view on China’s economic performance,” which it adds is consistent with recent data for outbound tourism from China to regional destinations including the casino jurisdiction of Singapore, and also for Thailand, another usually-popular place with Chinese.
There had been a “slowdown” in Chinese outbound tourism, noted analysts Euben Paracuelles and Charnon Boonnuch, in a Monday memo.
“Foreign visitor arrivals to Singapore fell to 73.6 percent of 2019 levels in October from 77.3 percent in September, led by fewer tourists from China (47.5 percent from 54.6 percent),” wrote the Nomura analysts.
For the first 10 months of the year, overall visitor arrivals to Singapore were at circa 71 percent of 2019 levels, show Singapore government data.
In particular, a regional recovery seen in China outbound tourism had “lost momentum… after the release of pent-up travel demand since the border reopening in early 2023,” suggested Nomura’s Monday note.
Its analysts were referring to easing of Covid-19 -related travel and other restrictions for China and for those outbound from China.
China’s moderate economic performance compared to previously “could weigh on the tourism recovery across the region,” said Nomura.
“In Singapore, we continue to expect a modest increase” in gross domestic product (GDP) growth, “to 1.4 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, after an encouraging pickup to 1.1 percent in the third quarter, with the travel- and tourism-related sectors providing less of a tailwind,” stated the institution.
One of Singapore’s aims in creating a casino duopoly more than a decade ago, was to boost its GDP from inbound tourism.
The two-operator market consists of Resorts World Sentosa, run by Genting Singapore Ltd, and Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp, which is also the parent of Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd.
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Lui Che Woo
Chairman of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group