Visitor volume to Singapore grew by 472.2 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2022, to 540,430, according to data issued by the city-state’s tourism board. The four-month figure is even higher than the nearly 330,000 arrivals recorded in full-year 2021, showed the official data.
Of the aggregate arrivals in the first four months of 2022, the tally of overnight visitors was 307,740, an increase of 1,427.3 percent on the same period in 2021.
Singapore has been one of the first jurisdictions in Asia to move to a living-with-Covid-19 strategy, bolstered by a high local rate of vaccination.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore had said in late March that the country was reopening to fully-vaccinated travellers from April 1. Singapore also removed, with effect from April 26, all Covid-19 test requirements for fully vaccinated visitors.
The largest single component of international visitors for the first four months came from India, with 95,490 arrivals, up 533.1 percent year-on-year.
Next was Indonesia, with 84,658 arrivals, a rise of 661.8 percent. Third was Malaysia, with 45,560, an increase of 750.4 percent year-on-year.
When the city-state permitted two casino resorts to open in 2010, it said an important goal was to reinvigorate its tourism sector, and expand gross domestic product (GDP).
One of Singapore’s casino investors is Las Vegas Sands Corp. On its first-quarter earnings call in late April, the firm said it expected its Marina Bay Sands resort in the city to achieve what it called a “run rate” in terms of earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$1 billion in 2022.
The management at Genting Singapore Ltd’s Resorts World Sentosa casino complex, the market rival in Singapore, said in recent comments it was looking to broaden its customer base beyond gambling-focused consumers, as it recovers from pandemic-related disruption.
In other developments, the International Monetary Fund stated in a Tuesday press release, outlining its preliminary findings after a country visit by its staff, that Singapore’s post-pandemic recovery was “one of the strongest among advanced economies, with overall activity at end-2021 having surpassed pre-Covid levels.”
The IMF added: “Real GDP growth reached 7.6 percent in 2021, underpinned primarily by a strong rebound in external demand.”
Though the body noted: “The consumer-facing services and construction sectors remained below pre-pandemic levels. Inflation has risen rapidly due to higher global food and energy prices, as well as private transport, housing prices, and to a tighter labour market.”
Regarding developments in the local tourism market, Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd said in a Sunday announcement that Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 would reopen in phases from May 29 to meet the increase in passenger traffic in the months ahead. It will host mainly peak-hour arrival flights of airlines currently operating in Terminal 3, said the airport operator.
The airport’s passenger volume rose from about 18 percent of pre-Covid 19 levels in March, to nearly 40 percent of pre-pandemic business in April, said the city-state’s Minister for Transport, S Iswaran, in a speech in early May.
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