The number of visitors to Singapore rose 7.6 percent in the first six months of 2018, to nearly 9.2 million, according to data issued by the Singapore Tourism Board.
Travellers from Greater China accounted for approximately 24 percent of the total, at nearly 2.2 million arrivals, an increase of 10 percent on the prior-year period.
Most of the Greater China travellers – just over 1.7 million – were from mainland China, an increase of 11.4 percent year-on-year. The number of arrivals from Hong Kong was nearly flat, at 224,068, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier. The contribution of Taiwan for the first half was 211,213, up 8 percent.
A number of investment analysts use the volume of Chinese tourists to a casino jurisdiction as an indicator of the likely strength of local gaming operations. Singapore’s duopoly casino market is also reportedly well supplied by local gamblers and by visitors from Malaysia, and analysts also note that VIP play – typically involving a small number of rich people – makes a big contribution to the earnings of many casinos around the world.
A Monday memo from brokerage Maybank Kim Eng noted that first-half 2018 turnover at Genting Singapore Ltd, which operates the Resorts World Sentosa casino resort in the city, rose 4.5 percent year-on-year.
The aggregate of Malaysia visitors to Singapore in the first six months of 2018 was 584,555. That was around 6 percent of the total of all arrivals, and 3.9 percent up year-on-year. The number of visitors from Southeast Asia as a whole in the first half was just over 3.2 million, up 5.2 percent year-on-year.
The number of visitors from India, another important feeder market for Singapore tourism, was 768,616, or approximately 8 percent of the total, marking an increase of nearly 17 percent year-on-year.
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”The [VIP and premium-mass] segments are following very different trajectories, and we would expect that to continue for the time being”
Chief operating officer of Macau casino operator Sands China