Official data indicate that Singapore welcomed almost 7.77 million foreign visitors in the first five months of this year, 1.5 percent more than in the corresponding period last year.
Figures compiled this week by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) show that the city attracted more people from all its main sources of foreign visitors, the fastest growth being in the number of visitors from South Asia.
The STB data indicate that in the five months to May 31 the number of visitors from the biggest source market China, grew to nearly 1.54 million arrivals, 3.7 percent more than in the corresponding period last year.
The number of visitors from the second-largest source, Indonesia, fell by nearly 2.4 percent year-on-year to about 1.18 million in the first five months of the year.
The number of arrivals from the third-biggest source, India, declined by nearly 1.8 percent in the January to May period to nearly 602,811 million.
The number of tourists holidaying in Singapore last year rose by 6.2 percent to about 18.5 million arrivals, with increases across most of the city state’s biggest target markets. According to STB, tourists to the city-state last year spent a record amount on gaming, sightseeing and entertainment.
In February, the tourism board forecast that the annual number of visitors in 2019 would rise by between 1 percent and 4 percent this year to between 18.7 million and 19.2 million.
The Singapore government licensed two casino resorts in 2010: Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore Ltd; and Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of U.S.-based operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. Two of the aims of the casino liberalisation policy were to expand Singapore’s gross domestic product – by boosting the number of inbound tourists – and maximising tourist spending.
The Singapore authorities said in early April that they had agreed to the expansion of the city’s two integrated casino resorts; and that in return for fresh investment – SGD9 billion (US$6.6 billion) in aggregate – the respective operators would continue to hold through to the year 2030, a duopoly position for casino resort business in that country.
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”The Philippines has been the primary growth driver, but really the broader Asian gaming industry is something that’s really important to us”
Chief executive of casino equipment provider Light & Wonder