Singapore’s international visitor arrivals for 2023 may at least double, at 12 million to 14 million, relative to the 6.3 million achieved in 2022, with the latter figure already having beaten forecasts, stated on Tuesday the Singapore Tourism Board.
Keith Tan, the board’s chief executive, was cited as saying in a press release: “Our 2022 tourism performance underscores Singapore’s appeal as a leading business and leisure destination for post-pandemic travellers.”
He added: “To sustain our growth in 2023 and beyond, we will expand our partnerships, build up a rich year-round calendar of events, ramp up investment in new and refreshed products and experiences, and continue to support industry efforts to build the capabilities they need to meet consumer demands.”
A country report on Singapore issued in July by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised the city-state’s public-policy approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw dividends in terms of returning tourists and increased play volume at the city’s two casino resorts.
Singapore is home to a casino resort duopoly: Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore Ltd; and Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp, which also has an operation in the Macau casino market.
China consumers – who were for most of 2022 subject to constraints on overseas travel linked to that country’s now-discontinued ‘zero-Covid’ policy – did not appear in Singapore’s 2022 top-three either for sources of tourists, or spending by visitors.
Singapore Tourism Board said it expected sectoral growth in 2023, “on the back of increasing flight connectivity and capacity, and China’s gradual reopening”.
It said the international visitor market was forecast to contribute between 12 and 14 million arrivals, bringing in approximately SGD18.00 billion (US$13.62 billion) to SGD21.00 billion in tourism receipts – “around two-thirds to three-quarters of the levels in 2019”.
Singapore’s leading visitor source markets in 2022 were: Indonesia, with 1.1 million arrivals; India, with 686,000; and Malaysia, with 591,000. The latter northern neighbour of Singapore has a single licensed casino resort, Resorts World Genting, run by Genting Malaysia Bhd.
Singapore’s 2022 tourism receipts – excluding “sightseeing, entertainment and gaming” – for the period from January 1 to September 30 were SGD8.96 billion. Tourism receipts are estimated to reach SGD13.8 billion to SGD14.3 billion for 2022 – about 50 percent to 52 percent of 2019 levels, according to Tuesday’s release.
The tourism board said that “in line with previous practices,” it excludes sightseeing, entertainment and gaming in its market analysis “due to commercial sensitivities”.
The 2022 top markets for generation of the other forms of tourism receipt were Indonesia, India, and Australia, which contributed SGD1.1 billion, SGD704 million, and SGD633 million, respectively.
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